Nowadays, all companies need to ask how they provide added value above and beyond purely business aspects. Because satisfaction with a product or service alone isn’t proof that they do so. People want to know what lies behind a company, what drives it, what credible ethical values it holds and how it treats customers and employees. In other words, a company’s purpose is just as important as its portfolio. Unfortunately, many of us are still surprised to learn that it’s people who are pivotal to business success. People who lose faith in their jobs, will lack creativity, empathy and drive. Which is why Düsseldorf-based agency human unlimited (hu) examines what companies can do to give employees purpose and show appreciation for the work they do.
This young purpose-driven company considers itself the creative answer to traditional management consultancies. And this is reflected in the interior design concept for the office, with its floor space of 200 square metres, in Düsseldorf’s Medienhafen. The main idea by interior designer Claudia de Bruyn, owner of two_space + product, is based on hu’s corporate design and follows an unusual and striking colour scheme. The three primary colours of cyan, magenta and yellow from the CMYK colour model stand for purpose, engagement and leadership. These are used to generate strictly demarcated, monochrome zones in each of the communication areas.
The floor and walls are white and the curtains transport the wave-like theme of lightness into the interior. The black ceilings are a direct contrast and literally turn traditional ideas about interior design concepts on their head. Instead of dark flooring and a light-coloured ceiling, it’s the other way around here. The customised tables and sideboards appear to be sculptures that have popped up from the floor. The black lampshades hang over them from the ceiling in the same colour. Wilkhahn’s three-dimensional, AT office task chair complements the clear, understated design concept. The chair’s white frame and dark upholstery is the link between the ceiling, wall and floor. Thanks to integrated, free-to-move kinematics, it’s impressive for its comfort and ensuring that the body retains its centre of gravity however many different movements it makes. At the same time, the furniture also underscores the agency’s own purpose. Thanks to the smart AT all-rounder, staff benefit from custom-adaptable task chairs and are given unlimited scope to develop ideas.
Read more about Wilkhahn’s purpose here.
And read here about the role purpose plays in the design of new working environments.
AT’s striking design and top quality were what impressed us most of all. Its fluid lines lend it a lightweight, delicate appearance. Its functionality is cleverly concealed and only apparent in the intuitive way the office chair is handled. And in terms of purpose, it was easy to pick Wilkhahn because AT is a good example of how sustainability can be holistic – because the company’s products last and last and are made in Germany.