Last Updated on August 27, 2020 by Jeremy
Disclaimer: We were hosted for this experience. Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since initial publication. Current conditions may result in operating hour changes or closures not reflected in the content below.
I've driven by the RIDC industrial park off of Route 28 more times than I can count, and to be honest I never quite took a moment to stop and research all of the businesses that call that area home.
Had I looked into this further, I would've discovered Inventionland. Sadly, it wasn't until I was invited out for a tour by the company that I became aware of its existence. Naturally, with a name like Inventionland I went out to learn more immediately and I was blown away within moments of walking through the door.
Inventionland is the Coolest Office in Pittsburgh
Inventionland brands itself as an “idea incubator” and, in my opinion at least, is one of the coolest companies in Pittsburgh (with a number of unique options to choose from, this really is saying a lot).
The reason? As a business, Inventionland assists product designers in getting their ideas to market. They can do full-service design work from taking an idea scribbled on the back of a napkin all the way to the final product, or work on focused design elements like initial artist rendering or final packaging (and seemingly everything in between).
As the story goes, the President of Inventionland took a trip to Disney and had a light bulb moment. He needed to build an environment for his designers and inventors to be creative. So rather than being just a cubicle farm or a mundane office complex, Inventionland became one of the most creative offices in the metro area.
Even better? This one is open for tours for you to see it for yourself!
You Need to See Inventionland to Believe It
Describing Inventionland in an article is not really doing it justice. You really need to see this one to understand it.
Instead of working in a conventional office, employees may find themselves working inside the pirate ship. Instead of the cubicle, it may be the giant robot or the medieval castle.
In fact, almost all of the offices in Inventionland have some sort of theme (often tailored towards the division that works inside it). There is the creator's cave, a faux pet store, a treehouse that was once the President's former office, a robust sound recording studio, and so much more.
As far as giving employees a space to be creative, Inventionland does just that and then some with an ambiance that is truly one-of-a-kind.
During the tour, you get to see a selection of these offices, learn about the creative process, and see how Inventionland helps solve problems for designers all over the world. While I'll be the first to admit that this tour is somewhat targeted for children, it is also quite engaging for adults as well (I visited as a tagalong on a school field trip which really helped amplify this fact).
While on the tour, you'll also notice an aerial parade of creations that Inventionland helped work on over the years. These include items like kitchen gadgets, car parts, toys, and so much more. One of my favorites is the BikeBoard, a surfboard-meets-scooter design that we learned more about in an in-depth video at the company's on-site theater (that would rival most luxury movie theaters, of course).
Ultimately, one of the best parts about the tour of Inventionland is that it encourages guests to embrace their inner creative genius and highlights that the next great invention can come from anywhere. What you may see as the student of today could be the startup CEO that changes the world tomorrow, and the tour at Inventionland does a fantastic job in fostering the creative spirits of all who visit.
Inventionland is located at 585 Alpha Drive at the RIDC Industrial Park just outside of Pittsburgh off of Route 28. Tours take place most weekdays (excluding Friday) year-round, multiple times per day. Tours are recommended to be booked 2-4 weeks (or more) in advance as they regularly sell out. Inventionland is featured on the Science Channel's show, Tomorrow's World Today, as well. Photography is not allowed at Inventionland except at a designated spot at the end of the tour; however, I was given permission for this article as a guest of the company. As always, all opinions are my own.