When award-winning architectural practice Mary Thum Associates developed an eye-catching and innovative range of moveable desk and storage units, based on the flexible furniture system it developed for its own London design studio, the natural next step was to take the furniture to a much wider commercial audience.
Called ‘Cube Station’, this flexible workstation starts with a cube-shaped, double-sided trolley. A desk and shelf unit have been added into which the trolley nests when not in use. The units are on casters allowing users to arrange them in a variety of layouts for a small office or home environment.
For a business as visually literate and design-led as Mary Thum Associates, calling in external design advice might seem an unusual step to take. As furniture designers, Mary Thum Associates works with manufacturers and retailers to develop its bespoke furniture designs. Perhaps the key challenge is to market them as commercial products.
Mary Thum, who founded the practice in 1989, comments: “The design advice we received from consulting was very good. They brought objectivity to the process and worked with us to develop our marketing in support of the product launch, including a brochure and website.”
Like the product it supports, the marketing material and web site is highly attractive and the design reflects the modular feel of the furniture.
“As well as helping us on the design side, our consultant was invaluable in terms of advising on trademarking and protecting our intellectual property. We were surprised at just how many hurdles there were to clear in this area,” adds Mary.
Cube Station has been further supported by targeted advertising since it was launched and is now available through three retail outlets in London. Mary hopes to see the product grow further as a lucrative sideline to her successful architectural practice.