Last summer, HARMAN announced the launch of Huemen – our world class, award-winning design agency powered by our rich brand legacy and technical prowess. At Huemen, our designers are focused on delivering next-generation customer experiences; and with the grand opening of our new studio in New York City, the latest tools and technologies are at their fingertips. We sat down with Christian Schluender, Vice President and General Manager of Global Design, to learn more about the new studio and how it inspires great design…
Q: Huemen is focused on serving both the design needs of HARMAN and external clients. How do you think this new location will help serve the agency’s dual purpose?
A: While Huemen is the consolidation of highly esteemed and experienced design teams within HARMAN, it isn’t a side project relegated to a small room in HARMAN’s headquarters. We’re very much a standalone agency able to serve any number of third parties. This new studio is a testament to our investment in Huemen and in our employees, as well as our dedication to creating meaningful design. By opening this office, we’ve established a space where creativity can flourish and where there are no limits to what our designers and customers can achieve together.
Q: Tell us about the move to the new Huemen offices. It’s based in New York City – how did you decide on the location? What other factors played into the decision?
A: We’re very excited about our new location in New York City. At Huemen, we believe this city is an epicenter of design, so it could not be more fitting to be the host of our new offices! Huemen has a strong global reach, with locations in Silicon Valley, Detroit, Munich, Shenzen, and Bengaluru, that opening an office in New York felt like a natural extension. We take many factors into consideration when selecting the location for our offices. The talent pool here is impressive, with leading universities preparing the next-generation of leaders and adding to the global allure of the city itself, plus the professional base is already well established.
Q: Huemen’s design approach is rooted in empathy. How did this concept influence the design of the new space?
A: We designed the space with our employees’ needs firmly in mind. Our empathy-based approach means we put a strong emphasis on collaboration and teamwork, and we wanted a space that would reflect and encourage that. Every aspect was carefully considered and thoughtfully selected, from the larger architectural details down to the furniture and office supplies. We invested in the latest technologies so we can seamlessly connect with and support all of our clients no matter where they are located.
We wanted to create a bright and unique space that inspired everyone’s creativity and imagination. It’s an open office space, so our team members can easily brainstorm with one another and bounce ideas off others. We also wanted the space to have a very collegial and familiar atmosphere, so we avoided enforced seating assignments. Our designers are encouraged to move around, work together, and inspire each other throughout the day.
Q: What are some features or design factors at the studio that designers – whether they be User-Experience, Product, or Industrial-focused – might find important, useful, or inspirational?
A: Huemen’s new space is more than just an office – it’s a fully equipped, state-of-the-art design studio. We’ve empowered our designers with all of the tools they could possibly need to do their best work and advance in their careers. The cutting-edge devices and software that enrich Huemen’s offerings also allow our designers to refine and enhance their own professional skills and abilities. This is a space where designers of all concentrations and skill levels can join our team to do their best work possible and accomplish their goals.
Q: What are some unique or innovative things customers will see when they visit the studio?
A: The layout of the studio was carefully considered to empower all facets of our design offerings, from industrial design to digital, experiential, and marketing services. The 3-D printing center is especially impressive to our guests and allows us to create prototypes in-house, a benefit that ensures a seamless and expertly personalized design process. Printing 3-D models of the product allows customers to gain a better sense of what the final product will look like, and provides the opportunity and time to make any needed adjustments before the design is finalized and approved for production.
However, the video communications and editing bay is what truly sets Huemen apart from other studios. We were heavily invested in making sure we would be able to connect with clients wherever they are located. With the video communications suite, our customers can be involved in every step of the design process – all the way from conception, through revisions and into the realization of the final product.
To learn more about Huemen’s collaborative and personalized approach to design and see how we can help you create unique experiences, visit https://www.huemendesign.com/