Established as the world’s leading supplier of mobile phones. Nokia has continually evolved within the rapidly changing landscape of the technology industry. To reposition Nokia’s brand awareness in North America, the client sought to establish their presence as a thought leader within the heart of innovation and entrepreneurialism – Silicon Valley. They embarked on a project to consolidate five existing locations throughout the Bay Area into one single-tenant, 5-story building in downtown Sunnyvale.
Our approach included a joint research and design process to understand what R&D work practices mean at Nokia, looking broadly at their global locations, and also locally within the Bay Area. We began with user research, benchmarked best practices in R&D workplaces, and concluded with a framework for thinking and design solutions that set the tone and strategy for future Nokia R&D sites.
One of the overarching themes was to design for a model of ‘open innovation’. By encouraging new collaborative partnerships with third-party companies, academia, and customers, the process of R&D was becoming more inclusive, collaborative, and innovative. At Nokia, who uniquely refers to innovation as a ‘contact sport’, there was a need for closer and faster collaboration, but a desire to make innovation as visible and palpable upon arrival. This sensibility applied to idea of creating a sense of unity at the Sunnyvale location, whether they be employees, collaborators, and visitors, through to their diverse multi-generational workforce.
The Sunnyvale site, as a former peach farm, brought nourishment in the form of food, and as an R&D workplace, it is a site for the nourishment of innovation and nurturing great ideas – literally, from peaches to PDA. The design concept is about creating a vertical community that merges the functionality of a workplace with the comfort and connection of hospitality.