In a new venture for the workplace furniture design brand, Humanscale’s first standalone retail concept brings fresh accessibility to the sector.
After officially opening on 17th November in Hangzhou, China, Humanscale’s first standalone retail concept is the first-of-its-kind for the brand and presents a fresh perspective for the workplace furniture sector in offering a direct-to-consumer retail offering. With the brand previously operating through trade showrooms across the globe, this retail space is located within the Raffles City Mall – a popular shopping and lifestyle destination adjacent to the homes of technology leaders such as Dell, Alibaba, and Lenovo.
Renowned for its high-performance, ergonomic workplace solutions, Humanscale is seeking to connect with the technology and design-focused community already in the city and felt it was a good location in which to pilot this new model. “It signifies a new chapter for Humanscale,” comments the company’s President, Heather Fennimore. “This isn’t just a store; it’s meant to connect ergonomic design and sustainability with a tech-focused audience in one of China’s innovation hubs.” In trialling the concept in a city such as Hangzhou, Fennimore goes on to say how this is just the beginning of what could be replicated in other cities across the world. “It serves as a starting point for future retail expansion,” she continues, “especially as we look to bring our approach to ergonomic well-being to more global markets.”
The store itself will showcase the US manufacturer’s entire collection, in a bid to enlighten visitors on its wider mission and how each design has been created to optimise health and comfort, while centred on sustainable and circular values. The space has been designed in collaboration with New York based multidisciplinary design studio Ruperti and pays homage to the brand’s design sensibilities, with large visual display panels acting as an interactive backdrop behind the physical designs. Also in line with the brand’s responsible approach to production, the store’s components have been manufactured in a dedicated facility and then installed on-site to minimise and reduce waste where possible.
With its philosophy showcasing how good design achieves more with less, Humanscale is continuing to push boundaries in creating designs that benefit both people and planet. With 26 of its designs now certified ‘Planet Positive’ by the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Challenge (LPC), the company is providing increased transparency across its entire range as well as experimenting with new materials. And, as the number of home offices and workplaces continue to rise, the brand hopes that in connecting directly to consumers they will be able to showcase the importance of prioritising superior ergonomics at home, and how a conscious and sustainable approach to production doesn’t result in any compromise on quality. Looking ahead, especially as designs become component-driven and modular, could these local retail stores also serve as repair hubs and recycling centres too? Maybe in beginning with retail centres, it will allow the brand to seamlessly integrate such offerings into its business model over time as it strives to contribute towards a future circular economy.
Imagery courtesy of Humanscale.