THINKING QUIETLY - Thinking Works
Designed and realised from start to finish in under 12 months, the Thinking Quietly portfolio is a great example of how a product can be delivered with clarity and at speed. Understanding the marketplace as well as the materials and manufacturing processes required to realise the vision was critical to the successful delivery of the project.
Portfolio delivery. Concept to realisation. Working across the globe.
In the 60’s there was a program called Get Smart and it's worth a rerun from YouTube to understand the context but this is where TQ started. This was our reference point and creating a dome of privacy over peoples head to contain focus and direction within agile busy meeting areas. Think your morning stand-up in an open plan office but with an immediate private space.
Whilst exploring this concept we were hearing grumbles and rumbling from the market around productivity, performance, acoustics and we started to investigate.
One of our key skills as creatives and innovators is to recognise there is an opportunity. In this case the opportunity partly unveiled itself to us as we discussed the marketplace with end users. There were many complaints about privacy in the workplace, a lack of ownership of space & depersonalisation. So as designers we worked alongside these end users, specifiers and the A and D community to strategise a holistic response to all these problems. System furniture to return!
This started in a very unusual setting. Dean the owner of Thinking Works and I were driving across Germany and Poland visiting supply chain for his European market and we starting mapping out the process and areas of opportunity to resolve and improve the current problems within the workplace. When we segmented the problems it was quite clear to us that the combined issues faced by the end users could be segmented and resolved in five market segments. We road mapped the solution and a time plan which looking back was optimistic but with TW virgin appearance at Orgatec 2016 failure was not an option. Delving into the issues quite quickly gave is material options, a clear DNA and we started our creative journey with pace. As The journey for our studio always begins with an empty piece of paper, marker pens & post it notes. This particular journey started in November 2015.
The biggest challenge was the scale of the project due the volume of development required and investment from the customer there were times where we questioned “are we creating an entire new business?” the answer was yes but without a consolidated response to all the end user problems we would only tackle half of the problems. This would mean creating a work bay or a desk or some storage. In our humble opinion, this was not nearly enough to solve the problems fleshed out in our intensive white paper research. So we carried on with stealth rather than water down the proposition.
A delivery of a comprehensive planned part of the portfolio for Orgatec 2016. There were people queuing for the product mission statement to be delivered by personal invitation from the Thinking Works and Jones & Partners design team.
Deals and handshakes for global distribution were made there and then due to the strength of the portfolio offering.
Peers, competitors, manufacturers, editors giving all concerned that classic industry pat on the back…some looking over our shoulder at the sketch pad and asking where is this made? "Quality manufactured well resolved design solution". This quote was from the now US distributor. CDW 17 brought more planned range expansion. The moving counterbalanced cone of silence, storage and our favourite friend that brought joy to Maria in marketing, your own personal terrarium…
TQ has been receiving a raving response from the market as it gains acclimation and rewards.
More outcomes to follow…