FRONT 2019 : Planex + Gaawaa Miyay
One of the great things about participating in industry events is getting up close and personal with the people who specify and use your products. At the end of August, we did just that at FRONT 2019, Tower 3 Barangaroo in Sydney’s CBD.
On show we had the Good Design award winning xLocker2 in new colours and finishes. What was surprising was how people saw our lockers as a piece of furniture rather than a utilitarian storage system. They were impressed by the vast range of options incorporated in the future-proof design of the locker body that allows for the concealed wiring of access management systems, GPO’s and USB points to create projects specific locker configurations.
In addition to our stand we partnered with both Locktech and their recently developed Asset Management System and Sydney based designer Lucy Simpson in providing courtesy lockers for FRONT attendees and exhibitors. All participants were given wrist bands embedded with NFC technology to engage the central RFID reader. Watching how users interacted with the interface provided valuable insights for future product refinement.
The collaboration with Aboriginal designer Lucy was our first engagement. In our discussions, we reflected on the meaning of agile workplaces and how lockers had become the sole personal space for employees to secure their belongings and how sustainable practices and longevity are integral to Planex’s core values. Finally, we discussed how the placement of lockers within open plan offices acted as signposts/wayfinding systems.
Lucy’s insights included an extensive exploration of a visual concept about place.
The designs selected are titled 'Buunhu" (kangaroo grass) and 'Yuurra-gi" (speaks of movement) and have been applied across the full width of the locker doors and end panels. The repeat of this pattern on the xLocker2 system means you read the visual image across a span of lockers rather than one individual door. It is surprising to think of a functional product like lockers as sensitive, but Lucy’s design has created a sensitivity and lightness that is part of her heritage and culture.
Planex is proud to support the incorporation of indigenous culture and story within our range of products to enable the telling of aboriginal stories within the built environment as part of a living culture.
Whilst it did rain cats and dogs over the two-day event which may have kept some designers away, the good news is that we have our new locker designs available for review in both our Melbourne and Sydney showrooms.