Architect Magazine Highlights HOK Product Design
HOK Product Design Director Susan Grossinger, IIDA, LEED AP, is quoted in an article about architecture firms that create separate product design businesses.
“Product design at architecture firms is typically job-specific, with pieces like hardware, millwork and furniture made to complement a particular project. Some firms, however, market those pieces as stand-alone wares, turning product design into its own revenue stream, which requires careful analysis of demand, production, and distribution.”
“HOK Product Design, one well-known example of such a spin-off, launched in 2009 and operates independent of the architecture firm. ‘We were given some beta money to prove that we could be successful, we got a couple of contracts, and, voila, [the firm] said, OK,’ says director Susan Grossinger.”
“HOK Product Design partners with manufacturers to conceptualize and then produce the product or system. Its most successful piece yet—Gather (pictured above), a seating system for collaborative work—was realized with furniture maker Allsteel, for example. The manufacturing partners hold inventory, since many of HOK’s pieces are sold in the thousands.
“HOK Product Design, meanwhile, takes advantage of its network of designers in fields from healthcare to aviation to source ideas and work with industrial designers and creative directors to bring them to life. And HOK Product Design relies on its manufacturing partners for production, distribution, and marketing since the networks are already in place.”