Showcasing Workplace Design of the Future
Okamura is one of the world's largest furniture manufacturers. Based in Tokyo, Japan, it produces a wide variety of furniture and other commercial and industrial products. They opened a U.S. showroom in Chicago's Merchandise Mart in 2008 to establish their commercial furniture presence in the North American market.
We helped Okamura develop a new design approach for their 2016 NeoCon showroom. 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 U.S. 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 work styles.
- We staged product ensemble environments that showcased the spectrum of workplace activities, work styles and processes, such as formal/focused, formal/collaborative, informal/focused and informal/collaborative.
- The design holistically 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 work style-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.