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.