Roger Dennis spoke to Ed Burak of Formway Furniture about the product development phases involved in the award winning "Hum" range of furniture. The lead time spanned 5 years - a serious investment in time and money in this day and age - as Dennis says "In this current economic climate it's tempting to cut back on innovation and design, but the Formway example illustrates that development times can span economic cycles." Here's a snippet from their conversation:
What was the spark that started Formway down the path to design the Hum range?
We started with the question - does the world need another desk?
We began to explore this by removing the desk and trying to understand what's left - the artefacts, the communication, the tasks and the human and how these elements are both supported & suppressed by conventional/current workspace design.
We were also aware that we have witnessed a significant shift in the purpose of coming to a place of work. By this I mean that in the past, we came to work to read and write and do 'other stuff.'
Now things are different - the reading and writing can occur almost anywhere now, at home, on the kitchen bench, in the corridor or even a park. We are gathering together at this place we call work more and more for this 'other stuff' - the meeting of minds - to problem solve, socialise, share and collaborate.
Three significant research themes emerged from our early investigation into what goes on at your desk in the workplace - attentiveness, interaction and cognition - in other words focused or individual work, collaborative and making sense of the information and space around us.
Niti Bhan focuses on offering strategic insight for growth opportunities and revenue generation in the rapidly evolving interstitial space between design and business. Her 15 years of experience include employers such McCann Erickson Worldwide, Hewlett Packard India, The Second City and most recently, the Institute of Design. She is an engineer and an MBA whose most significant achievement in the field of design has been dropping out of two graduate design programs on two continents in two centuries - the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and the Institute of Design, Chicago. Her areas of interest are business intelligence and trends, business strategy as well as creating a compelling user case for design as force for increasing value.