3M AMD - Architectural Markets Division

Liberating technologies by bringing r&d scientists and designers together

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Project Team and Roles

Design Group Italia has functioned as an external unit of 3M rather than a service provider by working in close coordination with 3M Design Lab and the 3M AMD team. DGI also partnered with the light designer Huub Ubbens (former head of design at Artemide and Art Director at Danese), the lighting specialists D’Alesio & Santoro, and the designer Zoran Jedrejčić. DGI connected 3M’s pragmatic and technology driven design approach to the creative sparkle found in the design hub of Milan.

Understanding activities

In the first phase of the project DGI carried out a wide range of research activities; lighting trend analysis, exploration of the competitive landscape, and the Voice of Customers. The latter activity included an international online forum engaging 20 professionals such as architects, designers, and engineers, from all over the world in a discussion about relevant topics connected to the evolution of lighting.

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Tech assessment and concepts

Based on our ability to imagine realistic scenarios and narrative contexts for new technologies, we explored the potential of each 3M technology by defining for who, in what context, and to what purpose can it be used to benefit people. After this we developed a broad range of lighting concepts. The best ones were selected for further development during a series of intensive workshops involving the main 3M stakeholders and the team of designers coordinated by Design Group Italia.

Internal Awareness

In order to achieve 3M management's support, we suggested a new compelling way to showcase 3M’s potential in lighting. A number of lighting installations based on the selected concepts were developed and built under DGI’s supervision and placed inside 3M headquarters in St.Paul.

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Global Awareness

As part of the communication strategy developed to build global awareness about 3M technologies for Architectural Markets, DGI and 3M Design Lab suggested to 3M to invest in a strong promotional event during the 2011 edition of Salone del Mobile in Milano, one of the most important design fairs in the world. The event, called Infinite Innovation, took place at Palazzo della Triennale and displayed a range of lighting installations designed and engineered by DGI in partnership with Huub Ubbens and D’Alesio & Santoro.

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Support 3M AMD marketing strategy

By providing both surface finishing and lighting solutions, 3M Architectural Markets can help designers to create a whole mood or atmosphere in an interior, made up of the interactions between surfaces and light. To help 3M representatives to promote this message, DGI designed and manufactured a range of sales tools.

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Sales Tools 1 - Virtual Experience Center

To convey the idea that 3M AMD helps architects to free their imagination, DGI designed an interactive web application that shows how to mix and match 3M’s solutions for lighting and surfaces that create a large variety of interior moods.

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Sales Tools 2 – Mobile Experience Centers

The Mobile Experience Centers (MEC) are transportable kits of product samples and demo tools designed to empower the 3M sales force to speak to designers, architects, and innovators on an experiential level instead of a technical level, thus elevating the dialogue to where creativity and innovation happens.

Design Group Italia developed 2 kits: a large kit to be used at trade shows and a small kit stored inside a trolley luggage that can be carried by a salesperson.

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