Okamura Showroom, NEOCON 2016
Okamura Corporation retained HDR to develop a new design approach to their 2016 NeoCon showroom in Chicago. Working closely with their leadership and marketing teams, we developed a solution to reflect the needs of their current and expanding markets in North America, while also anticipating the evolving workplace design of the future. The company had historically cultivated a more traditional approach to showroom sales and product display strategies. Product categories were presented as separate groupings, such as seating, tables, and workstations, to showcase specific category options and features.
As Okamura observed increased interest in their products by high-profile US technology companies, with more youthful, informal application-based users and workplaces, they looked to reassess their presentations and showcase the aspects of their products that were drawing this attention. We did the research to help them understand how and why this target market was evolving, and how to support these employees' aspirations and workstyles.
We created staged product ensemble environments that suggest how their audience wants to work, showcasing the spectrum of workplace activities, workstyles and processes, such as formal / focused, formal / collaborative, informal / focused and informal / collaborative.
Experienced as a whole, the showroom reflects the flow between various workplace activities and configurations, presenting each as a distinct entity to demonstrate how Okamura products can be combined to adapt to a variety of user needs. The workstyle-driven vignettes highlight products in an integrated manner that mirrors the motivations and tastes of the emerging target market, while still allowing their products to "speak for themselves" through their unique design and engineering options.
Founded in 1945, Okamura is one of the world's largest furniture manufacturers based in Tokyo, Japan, producing a wide variety of furniture and other commercial and industrial products over their 60+ year history (including small airplanes and automatic transmissions). They opened their U.S. showroom at Chicago's Merchandise Mart in 2008, to establish their commercial furniture presence in the North American Market.