• User Research
  • Design and Policy Advisory
  • Education
  • Change Management

Client: west elm

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date: 2016-2017

Download: Project Sheet

Client Objectives

  • Conducted environmental psychology research with multisensory emphasis.
  • Contributed insights informing the development of award-winning products.
  • Collaborated on presentations for staff and dealers about user experience themes and problem-solving products.
  • Authored white paper for national publication outlining the brand.
  • Collected and analyzed user feedback to improve future designs.

west elm

Thought Leadership for a Breakthrough Brand

Home furnishings leader west elm saw an opportunity to bring a measure of household comfort to our era’s second home: the office. In the process of outfitting their own HQ, they observed that some needed pieces simply weren’t available. They created a new furniture brand—west elm Workspace—that blends workplace utility with residential touches. Following the acclaimed launch in 2016, the company sought to introduce more products and to further refine the presentation of the new brand. They also wanted support in teaching and learning for their team, their dealers and their customers. west elm engaged PLASTARC to support their efforts to create human-centric designs.

Drawing on our expertise in commercial interiors and the needs of the people who use them, we collaborated with west elm to create new award-winning additions to the Workspace product line. By conducting research into how people actually behave at work, we identified a range of products that were missing from the contemporary office. Our insights supported west elm in developing new designs to fill these gaps. To introduce people to the story behind this breakthrough brand and purpose of each piece, we wrote the script for a walk-through discovery experience at Neocon.