HLW Designs UNIQLO Workplace
In the previous post, we described the process leading to the development of design solutions that are supportive of a highly creative workforce. Initiated by the HLW Discovery process and implemented throughout all project stages, this “roadmap” enabled the designers to carry key ideas into a diverse workplace program. Specifically, how the existing retail strategy was transferred to various workplace trends is described in this post.
UNIQLO Brand Strategy Translated, HLW Workplace Design
“[The space] should communicate a sense of where we are going as a company. See the world—and how we are participating in it.”
HLW Discovery Session, 2013
For the company’s new workplace, we interpreted the UNIQLO brand strategy for a diverse range of programmed spaces. The HLW workplace design strategy centered on flexibility for future growth and for increased cross functional space and cross department working. Similarly, the approach for teaming and collaborative spaces acknowledged the interdependency of groups involved in creative activities; important conversations happen everywhere.
Consistent with the UNIQLO store model, the office design is highly efficient—and purposeful. The USF per person averages 155. Most shared spaces do double and even triple duty, with the flexibility to perform a range of roles and to quickly service both small and large group configurations. Even the workstation concept incorporates collaborative teaming space as part of the benching system. We also addressed the need for private and/or focus work with the inclusion of huddle/idea rooms.
The “showroom” is a flexible space that fulfills multiple support roles, from internal merchandising, to displaying mock-ups, to providing additional event/meeting space. It is part of an overall approach to streamline storage and garment display requirements. A primary focus of the design strategy is to support and showcase the UNIQLO products. Designed to the height dimensions of the standard store, the showroom can serve as a test lab for experimenting with new advertising campaigns involving the very precise and considered display of merchandise.
The new café is a retreat for UNIQLO staff. The minimalist design, including the sparse, airy layout, offers a more relaxed and less formal environment than other areas in the office. “We live here! We work hard, long hours, but we need to take care of ourselves. Our new office can help us take care of us.” 3
3 HLW Discovery Session, 2013.
UNIQLO requested “storage innovation,” which the team delivered through a multitude of design elements, including providing space for drawing sets, plug & play technologies, and integrated garment racks, to name just a few. Whenever possible, we incorporated into the storage concepts opportunities for display and further branding. Whenever possible, we incorporated into the storage concepts opportunities for display and further branding. In our next post coming next week—the third and final of a total of three articles focused on an in-depth discussion about the UNIQLO design process—we will explore the conceptual themes that guided the decision-making process.