As the designers go about their daily tasks they may take a moment or more to soak up the magnificent water views and the historic surroundings of the area’s maritime past.
And if the external attractions are not enough to capture the imagination, the physical beauty of the open plan studio will ensure a sense of wellbeing.
Everything about the studio speaks ‘Electrolux’ from its strong Scandinavian influences to the choice of materials, such as blonde timbers and attractive ‘colour spots’.
According to Lars Erikson, Design Director of Electrolux Home Products in Australia, the new studio represents the significant transformation of the company over the past two years. Locally the company has gone through fairly chaotic changes and is now reaping the rewards.
“The idea for a new design centre started with the need for an attractive workspace for our designers – an inspiring space that brought them closer to the ‘street’ and closer to fashion and trend references,” Erikson explained.
As the centre took shape it grew into an ideal environment for attracting new designers wanting to work with a company committed to the promotion of design. Erikson says the studio’s ‘colour spots’ are the furniture pieces from an expanding and youthful design culture in Australia.
“I like to promote this by buying objects that I like, objects that I think are examples of great design.
“Designers of our products need lots of physical space. If you are working on a couple of cookers you need the space around you to work and experiment, it takes up a lot of room,” said Erikson. There are big open sketch tables and computer workstations and tools as individual as the designers themselves.
Erikson is one of the six global design directors at Electrolux. Design is in the top level of management of the company and is a major focus of the global group. “We have grown to fifteen in staff, including three engineers working in advanced or future technologies; they look into new systems like solar energy, battery technologies, electronics, mechatronics and robotics.”
For Electrolux the new location also means greater opportunities. “Now we can also start building on new business opportunities and approach the high profile architectural firms that work near us. We are only five minutes from the centre of the city and close to their offices and studios.”
In the last two years, Erikson and his team have launched around 250 products and there are now seven brands under the Electrolux umbrella.
Ten percent of the design work at the centre is focused on developing new product concepts where design innovation plays a major role.
“Innovation can be represented in the small details of products. It is often those that give pleasure, joy and a positive feeling towards a product.“ Erikson likes to call these “emotional benefits”.
“Last year my focus was on getting the centre up and running and this year I will be focusing on getting our modelling and prototyping facilities developed.”