How leaning into Nike’s forward-thinking focus has helped us to hone our own lens on our design processes
Aidan Hart, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Inhouse Design Studio shares the value and learning from working with one of the world’s most innovative lifestyle brands.
Since 2017 Inhouse has worked on projects for the global super brand Nike, both on home soil (designing the South African HQ for the global brand in Johannesburg) as well as further afield – including their headquarters in Athens and Istanbul as well as design contributions to their HQ facilities in Paris and London.
Most recently Inhouse has immersed themselves in a three-year project due to conclude in 2023. The Bill Bowerman Centre (named for the Nike co-founder) is situated at the European headquarters of Nike. The schedule of accommodation includes a logistics hub plus sporting environments, sports science facilities as well as full food service offerings for staff and guests. With the design of more than 10 000m2 of fitness and health environments plus associated office and food service facilities, it is a massive undertaking – underpinned by Nike’s overarching commitment to future thinking while keeping an eye on the legacy of what has got the brand to where it is.
Part of our development with Nike has been a concept of “never done and always innovating”. This is their philosophy with their product and it certainly flows into how they approach their workspace design too. With this in mind, we constantly look to develop new solutions for every single aspect of a project we engage in.
There is an amazing crossover with their product developments into the environments we have designed. We have been able to access some of their innovative materials to use within the building realm such as Nike Grind. This is a predominantly recycled product which is combined with resin to be used as a resilient, rubber-based flooring solution. You’re essentially walking on a floor that was once a thousand shoes!
Nike has an established sustainability charter which we have been able to lean into for their projects. We worked with various furniture designers to use recycled materials to use as base materials within chairs or wall cladding systems for example.
Having access to an enormous amount of design direction and innovation gives us the opportunity to push the boundaries of our design thinking and it is rewarding to work with a brand that values constant innovation. It also means that we continue to offer our clients new and fresh concepts gained from our Nike projects.
Nike’s approach to their designed environments is fascinating. It has been incredible to really immerse ourselves in their thinking and bring our own play on things to the table. You won’t find logos plastered all over their spaces but at the heart of things is a deep link to the brand’s legacy. Through our design treatments, whether it is a graphic wall vinyl, a carefully considered work pod or a gender-neutral change room facility, we will always bring in multiple layers of new innovations and their brand DNA.
Nike’s brand immersive environments are incredible. They have access to a global pool of artists, each of whom has a fascinating and thought-provoking narrative. They are also able to collaborate with a diverse cross section of material and product innovators and specialists. For us, on the design side of things, it means we can really push the envelope in terms of concepts and application.
“Working with Nike has opened our eyes to what opportunities are available in the design world and has certainly given us opportunities to flex our creative muscles in the best way possible”, Aidan Hart, Co-Founder and Creative Director Inhouse Design Studio.