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Crystal Clear Vision: Interview with TWIR

01 . 10 . 2015

A commonly held philosophy for listening, solving and creating underpins the design and fit-out of Swarovski’s new headquarters in the historic Woolstores office complex in Sydney’s Alexandria. Design studio The World Is Round (TWIR) focused their energy on conceiving a functional workplace that met Swarovski’s unique needs.

Specialising in the design and manufacture of storage, Planex was engaged to develop a series of customisable solutions that addressed multiple requirements of storage, aesthetics and acoustics. With Planex’s newly redeveloped product offering that caters specifically to the evolving workplace, Planex was able to respond to TWIR’s multi-layered brief with flexible, collaborative solutions.

“Moving towards activity-based-working and collaborative spaces versus fixed desks meant there was a lot of work engaging the organisation and really talking to them about how they work and what they do,” says TWIR Andrew Cliffe.

TWIR conducted interviews and facilitated a collaborative process with both management and staff that peeled back the layers of organisation processes and working styles. Discussions centred around “the various ways that people did things, their day-to-day working style, the types of workspaces needed, storage requirements”, and more.

Cliffe feels strongly that Australian manufacturers need to engage with Australian designers “in a really smart way. I think manufacturers could get behind this [collaborative, creative] energy and get behind local talent, so it becomes a two-way street. Invite designers into the factory, ask them for ideas and really push local design.”

Working with local manufacturers like Planex really brings that vision to life, he says, thanks to their “full-time research and development capability and the ability to customise and prototype very quickly.”

It’s a philosophy that Planex is fully on board with, having long fostered a culture of sustainable, Australian designed and made products that champion the needs of the end-user.

Originally published in Design Quarterly #58  2015

Words by Alice Blackwood