Co-creation in Question(s): The Metamorphosis of the Montreal Insectarium

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CASE STUDY. In 2010, Anne Charpentier, director of the Montreal Insectarium, a natural history museum dedicated to insects, was mandated to metamorphose her museum, whose dilapidated facilities were bursting at the seams.

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Co-creation in Question(s): The Metamorphosis of the Montreal Insectarium: Abstract

Co-creation in Question(s): The Metamorphosis of the Montreal Insectarium is a case study by Marine Agogué and Manon Lantoin.

In 2010, Anne Charpentier, director of the Montreal Insectarium, a natural history museum dedicated to insects, was mandated to metamorphose her museum, whose dilapidated facilities were bursting at the seams.

Much more than the story of a simple renovation project, this case focuses on the extraordinary project management approach adopted by Charpentier. Soliciting the input of a host of experts, she spearheaded a co-creation process to help develop the specifications for the architecture competition that would determine the architectural and functional design of the new museum. Against all odds, Charpentier launched a two-year process involving the museum staff, other Montreal museums, world-renowned experts (in entomology and experiential design), as well as the general public. This case presents the details of the approach used along with the thoughts of the director and her collaborators throughout the collective design process. The end result was a program of museum experiences – the centrepiece of the specifications presented to the architects. The case also discusses the challenges faced by Charpentier and her team.

The case is divided into two parts (A and B) – the first centres on the context of the museum transformation and the second on the development and implementation of the co-creation process.

Multi-part case

  • Part A: Reinventing a Living Museum
  • Part B: Steering the Co-Creation Process (available with Teaching License purchases only)

Teaching objectives

The primary objective of this case is to explain the concept of co-creation – also known as co-design and customer-driven innovation. The secondary objective is to crack open the black box of organizational tools and mechanisms used to generate new ideas and assemble a group of internal and external players. The case thus examines the tools used by the protagonists to help students understand the managerial implications of this type of collective action.

The case helps students do the following:

  • Understand the challenges of collaborative innovation, particularly in the context of organizational transformation
  • Understand how a co-creation process can be implemented in a multi-stakeholder context
  • Identify the direct and indirect effects of the co-creation process on the organization as a whole

Main themes covered

  • Innovation
  • Co-Creation process
  • Organizational transformation

Concepts and theories related to the case

  • Collaborative innovation
  • Co-creation in a multi-stakeholder context

Additional information

Also available in French.

Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Please contact HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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