I worked with four colleagues – Maria Gajewska, Szymon Najder and Alicja Pałys. Rebelling against the academic structures, we decided to form a versatile team. Szymon had a Master’s degree in psychology, Maria was trained in interior design, Alicja was an excellent product designer, and my expertise was User Experience.
We wanted to do something tangible – a project that would have the potential to make a difference. Our focus was on space, people, and how they affect each other.
Our research showed that people seek work spaces tailored to them. They want independence, openness, and a sense of community and cooperation1. Attention shifted from productivity to quality, factoring in different needs, emotions, and personalities of workers.
1 The 2nd Global Coworking Survey, deskmag.com
We wanted to answer the requirements of a specific group of people. We contacted a small branding studio from Warsaw – Hopa Studio, – who just moved into a new office. We proposed our idea to them: a space tailored to their needs, and they agreed to work with us.
First, we needed to get to know them. We asked them to describe and illustrate three types of spaces: their home, where they currently work, and an ideal workspace. After that, we brainstormed the functions they needed – everything they wanted to have within their office, from good light, warmth, and respect, to finishing on cozy slippers and houseplants. We created personas to capture who the people in the studio were, and then we moved on to ideating.
Giving them control and sense of ownership over this project was very important to us, so we met with the studio frequently to discuss our ideas and improve on them together.
Stairs gave the team access to a sub-level of their studio, previously used as storage.
Bookshelves allowed them to display their many beautiful objects.
We collected our set of objects, workshops and knowledge in a form of a catalogue. The goal was to provide studio-owners and members of creative industry with tools to manage and plan their space according to their individual needs, tempers, work processes and so on.
The catalogue consists of a brief summary of System’s characteristics, overview of all of the predesigned furniture and a workshop section, in which people are guided on how to discover their needs and arrange their space properly.
Example spreads from the publication.
Who is Martin?
Martin opened a design studio with his friend. They work with two of their employees. A year ago they moved to a new, lofty space and haven’t fully furnished it since. They’re looking for a solution to this problem. They’re not satisfied by standard office furniture options.
A. Martin learns about System from a friend
B. Martin visits our website
C. He reads about what System is, what are its characteristics, why was it created
D. He looks though a gallery of objects we offer
E. He pops into the workshop section to check what’s it all about
F. He reads about our close collaboration with local makers and craftsmen
H. He makes a decision to contact us and work with us on furnishing his office
I. We arrange the date of our first meeting
J. We meet Martin and his coworkers in their studio space
K. We agree on a schedule of workshops and meetings
L. We conduct any needed workshops and excercises to figure out what does this team and space need specifically
M. Basing on the obtained knowledge, we and the team collectively work on solutions for the space and divide it into areas
N. We dry-run our solutions.
O. We start executing our project.
P. After work’s finished, everyone’s extremely satisfied and happy (that’s the goal).