Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Reinventing an existing space for a leading luxury accessories brand

A leading luxury brand based in London were facing multiple challenges.  They were running out of space, their HQ did not do justice to their brand and their team’s workspaces were not laid out to allow for creativity, collaboration and productivity.

They called us in to reimagine the space on a modest budget, and to provide clever solutions to their space issues and save them a costly and time-consuming office move.

Fiona Livingston, co-founder of Studiofibre, explains the creative design approach:

Q - How do you go about ensuring stakeholders visiting the space are immersed in the brand from the moment they step through the door?

As a business grows organically, branding is often an element that gets overlooked.  The effective branding of a space goes far beyond any corporate colour or logo.  A space should bring the DNA of a brand to life and project its culture via clever design details, allowing visitors to the space, and those that work within it, to experience it and interact with it at every level.  With this particular brand, humour is a key element of its character.  We have taken this humour and woven it into design detailing, interior styling and the bespoke furniture we are creating.  Visitors and staff alike will experience the quirky and unique identity of this brand from the moment they enter the building, and which will continue to every corner of the space.

Brand immersion | Studiofibre for Farfetch HQ

Q - First impressions are crucial.  How do you ensure a positive and on-brand first impression for key stakeholders visiting the space?

As well as humour, this brand is characterised by its inclusivity, social nature and relaxed approached to style and luxury.  We decided to turn the reception area into a social hub for the company, which gives the area a buzzy yet, casual vibe.  The staff are the brand ambassadors who literally bring the space to life as they use it.  The antithesis to a formal, sterile reception area, this space is more like a concierge area:  an inspiring space that is the beating heart of the HQ and where all visitors are immediately welcomed into the brand’s community.  The design of the reception desk is also crucial.  It it the first thing a visitor sees and has to encapsulate the brand in one glance.  Every reception desk we create is totally bespoke - and creatively translates the essence of the brand in a highly memorable way.

First impressions | Studiofibre for NotOnTheHighStreet.com

Q - Social spaces are important - but so is privacy for the design teams, and customer service teams dealing with sensitive client data.  How does this work within what is essentially an open plan and collaborative space?

The key is to ensure that those teams that have to work behind closed doors are encouraged out of those spaces in order to reconnect with the rest of the teams as often as possible.  Making this work in practice is down to the careful planning of the flow of the space.  Its important to maximise the opportunities for people from different teams to bump into each other.  Research has proven that these sort of impromptu encounters often lead to productive, unplanned meetings which increase collaboration and productivity significantly.  This is achieved via the strategic planning of tea points, restaurant areas and other social and informal meeting spaces.  

Social spaces | Studiofibre for Farfetch Global Offices

Q - How else do you ‘future-proof’ a design scheme to allow for further changes within the business?

So often you see teams crammed in as a company grows, with little thought given to the bigger picture of productivity and staff morale.  Where people sit has a crucial impact on how people interact and therefore how productive they are.  We have a service called STUDIOFIBREdna, where the space available is analysed against the current and future needs of the business. We then use this extensive research and the data we gather to inform our design scheme as we plan adjacencies, flow, social and meeting spaces and storage requirements.

Its also important to plan flexible and multi-purpose spaces and social facilities which allow for future growth in headcount.  We have done this in past by taking design cues from stage sets, meaning that walls can be moved and spaces repurposed when required.

Q - Is it a harder job to reconfigure an existing space rather than designing a new space from scratch?

There are advantages and challenges to both routes.  In this case, the brand is lucky enough to be based within a building that is full of character.  Many beautiful details have been covered up over time, and we are now able to reveal the true character of the building, exposing elements such as original beams and fireplaces.  The chance to restore something to its former glory, whilst ensuring it meets the needs of a 21st Century workforce is an exciting prospect.  We are not only injecting the brand into the space, but also putting the original character back into the space along which has to work alongside the physical manifestation of the brand's essence, which makes for a rather unique and intriguing project.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Vote for Farfetch in the SBID International Design Awards 2016

We're excited to announce that our design for Farfetch has reached the finals of the SBID International Design Awards 2016 and now we need your help to secure the title!

To vote for Farfetch click here to view our entry, then click the purple 'Vote for this Finalist' button.

Please note you can only vote ONCE in each of the 14 categories, and only one vote per IP address.

Voting closes Friday 16th September at 5:30pm (UK time).

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Workspace design that sets the scene

We believe that navigating around a brand's physical space should be an immersive brand experience from beginning to end.  A particular area of expertise for Studiofibre is working with digital brands, who have no bricks and mortar retail stores and have never had branded spaces. 

We understand that a brand’s physical space has to work hard on multiple levels - with one important area being PR and Marketing.  With this in mind, we often create an area within each design which provides an iconic backdrop for the CEO when being photographed or interviewed.  This ensures interesting pictures for the press with a backdrop that is totally on brand.

Here are just a few of our designs that have set the scene recently for these high profile, business leaders:

Natalie Massenet | Founder, Net-A-Porter Group
The balcony Natalie used for portrait shots within her Net-A-Porter London HQ (designed by Studiofibre) overlooked the main workspace area. The balcony was designed to represent the elegance and style of Net-A-Porter and was described as the ‘most Instagrammed balcony in the business world’ by Claudia Croft in Sunday Times Style.

Jose Neves | Founder, Farfetch
Farfetch have recently relocated to a series of global spaces designed for them by Studiofibre.  Jose’s most recent profile shots, including one that was on the billboard in Times Square, New York recently were shot in his London HQ studio lounge area.  The giant ‘pixel’ screen carved out of walnut, was designed by Studiofibre to represent Farfetch's mix of pioneering technology and curated luxury.

Holly Tucker | Co-Founder, Notonthehighstreet.com 
Notonthehighstreet is a brand characterised by crafted, fun items that are not found everywhere. Studiofibre created a unique desk for Holly, which encapsulated the essence of both the brand she created and the blog she now writes.  A colourful, hand crafted, stackable bureau.  Holly has been featured in the Sunday Times and other publications at her desk.

For more information, contact work@studiofibre.com

Friday, 15 July 2016

Retail Concept Store Design

Studiofibre was invited to design a concept boutique store for a leading lifestyle brand.  

Our approach was to push the normal boundaries of a contemporary retail space, and to create an experience designed to engage shoppers in an entirely new way.

The ‘Colour Concept’ store positions the user in a space between the physical and the digital world, inviting them to recreate their personal histories, and the special colours associated with those memories.

This interactive experience celebrates the colour spectrum, creating a virtual archive of hues and associated backstories for the brand to draw on to inspire future product development.  This delivers in-store theatre and invites the consumer to become closer to the brand.

The design concept attempts to move beyond ordinary retail space and connect the ever expanding digital social platform with the physical world of bricks and mortar.

The user and their story is the central narrative of the design and forms an ever evolving backdrop to the clients commercial interest.

Contact our team for more information about our retail design work. 

Friday, 10 June 2016

Design Week Awards 2016

As the Design Week Awards 2016 approach, we take a look at some of the designs shortlisted in the award categories this year. The awards span furniture to branding, workspace and hospitality (for which we're delighted to be shortlisted) to packaging, interactive and exhibition design.

Here are a few of the shortlisted designs that caught our eye. Take a look at the full shortlist here.

Editorial design: Elephant magazine Issue 25 by Atlas for Frame Publishers

Furniture Design: Planks Collection by Max Lamb for Benchmark

Packaging design: Boxes in boxes by Studio Sutherl&

Exhibition design: World Architecture Festival Exhibition London by Populous Activate

Hackaball by Made by Many

Retail design: TRYANO by hmkm for Chalhoub Group

Product design (Consumer): UNIT9 Hummingbird Bike

Plus, take a look at work from Rising Newcomer Jonathan Gomez

Good Luck to everyone shortlisted for the awards!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Luxury Briefing features Studiofibre

Theresa Harold interviews Fiona Livingston, co-founder of Studiofibre, for an article featured in the 20th anniversary issue of Luxury Briefing.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Studiofibre shortlisted for the 2016 Design Week Awards.

We are delighted to announce that our work for the Farfetch HQ in London is 1 of 8 projects shortlisted in the Hospitality & Workspace category for the 2016 Design Week Awards. The winners will be announced in mid June.