Harkening to urban planning and the designed environment, Hybrid Design’s illustrations for Steelcase 360 Issue 74 piece “Be Agile. Hack Your Space.” are aspirational and inspirational.
In today’s seemingly chaotic workplace, the Agile working methodology offers a way to wrangle an organization. Steelcase is developing a new concept for a “workplace in transition” and asked Hybrid Design to help illustrate the inspiration and thinking behind their designs for an article titled “Be Agile. Hack Your Space.” that appeared in Steelcase 360 Issue 74 in print and online. Inspired by urban planning, Hybrid developed a series of illustrations to depict the various elements of a city that the new concept is modeled after: the town square, neighborhood, business district, garden and more.
The style evokes a dreamy yet energetic state and inspires you to “hack your space” as the companion article discussed how Steelcase is approaching designing workspaces to support Agile ways of working. “With our illustrations, we wanted to visualize how the concept of urban planning influenced the workspace environment and encourages a dynamic, innovative culture,” says Hybrid project manager Nicole Hasselfeld.
She adds that Agile can be a challenging concept to convey: “It is very abstract in nature and counter to the traditional, linear way of thinking. Our approach was to relate it to real-world examples and visualize key concepts for a workplace in transition, seeking simplicity on the other side of complexity.”
The client loved the abstractness of the illustration yet felt it accurately communicated the concept in a relatable manner. There was also a very positive response to the color palette and mixture of grainy textures and real materials. “We heard from clients, team members and end users alike that they want them printed and hung on their wall, and that is when you know it’s more than just a graphic,” says illustrator Patchara Charoensiri.
Hasselfeld says that from the start, it was tough to envision how the illustrations and article would come together. “The concept and ideas were bouncing in many different directions between our team and the clients, and at times it felt like it wouldn’t land,” she confesses. “But in the end, everyone was very pleased with where we got to, and we all knew that it never would have gotten there on an island without the constant collaboration and cycles of revisions. Essentially, the process of the project embodied the Agile concept we were trying to portray, and that is what made it great.”
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