Designer: Franklin Wuu, Experience Design, OCBC Bank
Client: OCBC Bank
Furnishing our 55 branches was an expensive affair in the past. Each piece of furniture was custom-made based on a design template to create a consistent look. However, they were not flexible in application as one size cannot fit all branches, resulting in the furniture getting in the way of foot traffic. Furthermore, the maximum seating capacity was seldom utilized as customers rather stand than sit uncomfortably close to strangers. Our furniture caused a problem rather than provide a solution.
To improve the waiting experience at our branches, we designed for flexibility. We developed the concept of a seat that was compact and modular. Being modular gave us the flexibility to configure the seats to accommodate different branch layouts. Through this design, we optimized seat usage by preventing customers from taking up more than one seat; thus lowering the cost per seat ratio. Using the same upholstery, we maintained a uniform look throughout the branches. The upholstery comes in a palette of complementary colors to create liveliness. Now the branches look the same, yet different.
However, the most interesting feature is hidden under the seat, invisible to the user. A simple metal element becomes the connector that allows unlimited number of seats to be joined in infinite combinations. Now, our branch staff are able to reconfigure the seats on their own without effort nor need of any tool. This provides unprecedented flexibility in space design. Each seat is 65% cheaper to produce and maintenance costs are minimal.