Thrislington Cubicles - design management europe award



Thrislington Cubicles - design management europe award
Winner Cardiff 2008
Thrislington Sales Ltd, UK
Best management of design in a medium-sized company
in design
Design Is Not Skin Deep
At Thrislington we believe that design
is not skin deep, but an essential and
integral part of what defines us as a
company. It doesn’t matter if we are
investing time in the development of
a new product or commissioning a
calendar, the same care and attention
to detail are self evident.
“We are a toilet
cubicles manufacturer
with an uncommon
passion for design”
Our 3 tips for managing design:
1 Allow enough time and invest enough
money into the design process, in terms
of overall project cost, design is cheap!
2 You have to start somewhere, make your
first project to the best standard that fit’s
your business. Then make the rest of the
areas of your business catch up. It’s what
we did. We now constantly find the best
element of design within our business
and benchmark it against other design
disciplines. For example in our perfect
world product, graphic and advertising
would all be a seamless one . . . It very
rarely is, were we see, say graphic
achieving a higher standard and one
that fits our strategy, we will use that
as an inspiration to push the product
design on
-Patrick Wilson
3 Try to find continuity, we’ve worked
with the same graphic design practice,
the partners and advertising agency,
charlotte st, for 20 years, that’s a lot
of mutual understanding. We get fresh
high quality input as people change, but
continuity as the changes occur over a
gradual period.
Our market is, as most others,
highly competitive and probably
oversaturated. We made a conscious
decision in 1984 to try to break
the mould.
We commissioned the design of
a radically new toilet cubicle
to elevate ourselves above the
competition. At first the product,
Lotus, was successful because of
the way it looked. It continues to
sell today particularly in schools,
because of the way it works.
Pivoted doors mean no hinges
to break, integral receiver for the
lock in the aluminium post means
no receiver to break. Fast forward
to today –and all of our products
still have these advantages as
fundamental to their design, but
now the products are sleek,
beautifully engineered the doors
still pivot, but now from above using
load bearing gas filled closers. They
are used in the very highest quality
buildings, specified by world leading
in design
To ensure that as the business grew,
we maintained a cohesive approach to all
disciplines, we commissioned The Partners
to produce a set of guidelines, for all to
access. This is updated periodically as we
add another element to the brand, such as
a specific target on education.
For product design we research extensively
with specifiers (generally architects) especially
if we’ve come up with completely new
concept, such as a hydraulic door closer
concealed within the aluminium headrail.
We test all new products to destruction in
our own small testing area and often have
to create a weak spot, on products that go
into areas of potential abuse, that’s easy for
a maintenance man to replace, rather than
seriously damage the door.
Pages from Thrisligton
guidelines, ensuring
consistency across all
design elements
Part of an award winning
series of calendars to
remind architects about
Thrislington every day.
This is were we really get the benefit
of our investment in design. In 2001
we outlined our strategic objectives,
by defining our three horizons. Short term
horizon- that year, mid term horizon - within
3 years, long term horizon - 5 years plus.
The easiest one for us to demonstrate the
essential part design played in achieving
success is in our long term horizon of 2001.
Our objective was to become less reliant
on the premium UK market by becoming an
international brand. To do this we needed
to redefine the brand, to be less uk driven
in our language, simpler and cleaner in all
of our communication, build a website that
reinforced our credentials and create
a product that was easy to install, but
still sexy.
Our products are now installed at:
Museum of Modern Art New York,
Apple Flagship Store Manhattan,
New Air France Terminal Paris, Serono
Geneva, Oslo Opera House and University
Cinema Reykjavik.
Used by world leading architects such as
Sir Norman Foster, Richard Rogers,
Zaha Hadid, Kohn Pederson Fox and
Jean Nouvelle.

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