Innovations in Art Through the Lens of Business Model Analysis and the Dynamics of Creative Industries: A Case Study of teamLab
This thesis examines the patterns of innovations that teamLab, a Japanese engineering firm turned artist group, has brought to the art industry. It explores these patterns in light of business model analysis and the dynamics of creative industries. The approach herein draws from design thinking (see Plattner, Meinel, and Leifer 2011) to contrast the creation and the distribution processes of art with those of design-related fields. In this way, on one hand, the thesis adopts standard business terms such as “business-to-consumer” (B2C) versus “business-to-business” (B2B) that are rarely used by art professionals to discuss the business side of art industries. On the other hand, based on such models, the thesis uses design thinking to analyze teamLab’s development of artistic practices from an engineering background. It argues that the group’s marriage of engineering and art has allowed it to forge a highly original approach to innovate art making, art viewing, and art business models.
Accordingly, the thesis demonstrates teamLab’s innovations on three levels—products, services, and business models. First, the group grew from creating utilitarian, commercial pieces in the early days to a spectrum of artwork that range from being functional to aesthetic. This evolution reflects the group’s transition from a B2B to a B2C approach to art making. Its innovation lies in its efforts to marry a user-centric, problem-solving mindset of design thinking with a professional artist’s first person-centric, aesthetics primary outlook to create new art products. Second, teamLab has used such artwork to address challenges with art viewing. It has developed exhibitions that connect with the audience physically and conceptually, which reflects a design thinking mindset. Its innovation lies in its creation of these new exhibition experiences as service businesses in the art world. Third, in this process, teamLab extended its businesses from being a player outside fine art, to a product supplier inside fine art, and eventually to a service provider inside fine art. In effect, it has expanded from a B2B business in engineering, to a B2C art product business, and finally to a B2C art service business. Its innovation lies in its development of a composite business model—which on one hand, covers design-related fields and art; and on the other hand, within art, combines product businesses and service businesses.
In this way, teamLab has straddled the boundaries between design related industries and art, between the B2B and the B2C models for art creation, and between product businesses and service businesses in the art space. In other words, marrying design thinking and art making has allowed teamLab to create highly original artwork, exhibitions, and business models. It demonstrates that innovations are not necessarily groundbreaking inventions but can be new combinations of existing elements.
|Type of resource
|June 4, 2020
|Degree granting institution
|Stanford University, Stanford Global Studies, Center for East Asian Studies
|international art world
|Stanford Global Studies
|Center for East Asian Studies
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- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
- Preferred Citation
- Xu, Anqi. (2020). Innovations in Art Through the Lens of Business Model Analysis and the Dynamics of Creative Industries: A Case Study of teamLab. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: https://purl.stanford.edu/qv154xg5274
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