Newell Brands Design Center

Kalamazoo, Michigan
Imaginative, Energetic, Collaborative and Open

Looking to transform their business plan and business model, Newell Rubbermaid chose to create an inspiring work environment that embodies the spirit of design, while still allowing a neutral backdrop for the creation of new products.

The entire center was designed to enable and encourage collaboration. From the large open space where all the designers work together; to the innovation lab, where great ideas are hatched; to the huddle rooms, where teams can gather for impromptu discussions; to the immersion rooms, where everyone can work together on developing their ideas–it is all about supporting connections.

Newell Rubbermaid’s history, values, and roots were explored in the patent super graphics and brand elements that are embedded into the interior architecture, creating a timeless and fresh daily environment.

The flexible design is supported by a central “main street” – where the design team explored wood as a way to delight and inspire, creating a walkway with FSC-certified ash. The same wood creates a dropped trellis ceiling that filters prismatic skylights, which illuminate the path.
The KZOO Workshop was developed to address these needs and resulted in a new R&D workplace consisting of flexible teaming hubs, private incubators, lounges for unexpected imagination, and tools that compliment and assist.

We developed a relatively clean palette of material, keeping the colors fairly neutral and natural with ground concrete floors and white walls allowing the wood elements to be highlighted in the design.

Made of FSC-certified ash, the reception wall doubles as both art and a nod to the heart and “craftsmanship” in the state. The dynamic quality of the surface mimics the dynamic quality of an idea.
Client history, values and roots were explored in the patent super graphics and brand elements that are embedded into the interior architecture.

A tangible symbol of the manufacturer’s commitment to design and innovation, the center is a place where multiple disciplines can come to together and achieve better outcomes than if they would have done separately.

Natural daylight pours in, and the architectural details are simple, embodying the spirit of design while serving as a backdrop - allowing a neutrality for innovation and the creation of new products.
“Immersion Labs”, highlighted by large white numbers situated along the slatted wood wall, are cross-functional areas at the heart of the center, where designers can leave their work up for the duration of their project.
A tangible symbol of the manufacturer’s commitment to design and innovation, the center is a place where multiple disciplines can come to together and achieve better outcomes.
This particular group of people requires different types of stimulation, different ways of working, and different design tools. Brainstorming sessions and design ideation takes many forms in this space.

Project Team

People
Eileen Jones