Expert Interview: Casey Nick and Ingrid Dent – Herman Miller

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Casey Nick – Education Sales Consultant, Herman Miller
Ingrid Dent – Business Development Member, Herman Miller

1. Tell me a little about yourself, what you do for Herman Miller?

Casey Nick – Education Sales Consultant
— Works in the larger conceptual side of consulting for Herman Miller products in Research 1 institutions
Ingrid Dent – Business Development Member for Herman Miller
— Sales Team on campus  

2. *Explained the project and showed the space*
Initial response from Casey:
— The space needs a cultural shift, it could be super engaging, but it’s never been used that way.
— If you came in and started working on a white board, people would be confused and tell you to be quiet.
— How do you impact the space differently? Hosting workshops, little vignettes to say this is a collaborative moment to do something loud for team building with another department to engage the space.

3. Workplace layout is shifting towards creating an environment that feels like you’re not at work, “Starbucking” the location. Is this something that I should be focusing on to provide students with the best environment?

— When we worked with corporate customers, we could observe companies and between 1-3pm, no one was at their desk, they were at cafes or other places to get away because there was a buzz to it.
— Rather than getting tired at my workspace, I feel more engaged at these spaces. 
— You can’t take away the things for the person that wants to do heads down work, but they might start to seek that out if there’s more activity instead of having to go to another location like a café.
— “Res-immercial” – residential and commercial blending
— We did a survey for students saying where do you learn best, results said no one had any interest in a space on campus, they said at cafes or their home.
— Making the space cozy enough so you don’t have to go home because you can enjoy that here.

4.    One thing I have to think about is the versatility of the space for it to double as an event space.

— For a classroom setting, you want to let people have the choice to stand or lounge or kick back. Providing the opportunity to learn in a way that’s best for you for that day means you’ll be engaged.
— If you know you can go to the back or stand up, you’re more inclined to go.
— You need rows of chairs and desks for events, you can provide in ways to use that furniture to enhance the space instead of having to move it out of the way.
— Do a mini discovery session, support 3 key activates.
* A process to help better understand what’s working in the space. 
* Here are the top three things we want the space to support, look at what’s there right now and you can see if those things are supporting those activates. Provide other options to see if those things will work to find the right solution.

5.   Herman Miller does projects to create collaborative environments in work spaces, libraries, classrooms. Are there specific features for these settings that differentiate from one another?

— For Herman Miller, they want all their products to seamlessly integrate in any space, if it’s a space that has high traffic, you look more into materials.
— Make sure you pick products that fit the need of that space. 
Is it going to withstand the traffic and durability that’s necessary for that type of space?
— Explore the word collaborative. 
* If its library leaders, what does that mean? If it technology leaders, what is their opinion on collaboration, why?
* Collaboration is a crazy word in education spaces, its gonna mean something different for every person. Get the voice of the students, their idea of collaboration is different from people that will use it like grad students.

6.    In a survey, I asked if you would be interested in knowing about what others are working on, 63% people said yes. The idea of creating some type of service that allows people to gain info on people’s research, be able to reach out and collaborate if they share common interests?

Researches want a space that’s protected because what they’re working on is very personal and private which may cause an issue. It would be interesting to understand to what degree do they want to share it. If faculty are doing some specialty research, they won’t want to share it.
— Ask to what level are you willing to share.
— How to do you get awareness to what’s going on?
— Is it social media or an anonymous digital installation?
* Here’s the title of the research, here’s what’s going on in the space today. You can see that you’re doing work alongside someone that’s doing something different. You can anonymously connect or share.
— A kiosk – these are the kind of activities going on this week and hope that word of mouth gets it out there.
— More branding to make it more fun and playful, 
* statement letters, or vision statements or purpose statements
* the people that are doing their research have their true north statement that what their working off of as their direction and that can be digitally printed or stated somewhere so you can tell that what’s going on in there is research, so its like this think tank
— You don’t have to totally reinvent the space, just reinvent enough that people know what its intention is, so when you walk through there you know it’s the collaborative zone. I go in there cause I’m going to do something unique and different.

7.    When you think about services, what potential services should be there to draw people in?

Having a “coffee bar” promotes impromptu conversations
— you’ll run into someone while getting coffee, its’ very open culturally, with intention that people don’t stay in their work stations and get out and see other people. 
— Creating a space they have to go to for those impromptu conversations. 
— A little niche area that can be a coffee service for 6 hours of the day, you just employed people and you have a functioning service that people come there for and it automatically creates more noise and buzz, its no longer a very stagnate place to go.
            


Initial response from Casey:
— The space needs a cultural shift, it could be super engaging, but it’s never been used that way.
— If you came in and started working on a white board, people would be confused and tell you to be quiet.
— How do you impact the space differently? Hosting workshops, little vignettes to say this is a collaborative moment to do something loud for team building with another department to engage the space.

3. Workplace layout is shifting towards creating an environment that feels like you’re not at work, “Starbucking” the location. Is this something that I should be focusing on to provide students with the best environment?

— When we worked with corporate customers, we could observe companies and between 1-3pm, no one was at their desk, they were at cafes or other places to get away because there was a buzz to it.
— Rather than getting tired at my workspace, I feel more engaged at these spaces. 
— You can’t take away the things for the person that wants to do heads down work, but they might start to seek that out if there’s more activity instead of having to go to another location like a café.
— “Res-immercial” – residential and commercial blending
— We did a survey for students saying where do you learn best, results said no one had any interest in a space on campus, they said at cafes or their home.
— Making the space cozy enough so you don’t have to go home because you can enjoy that here.

4.    One thing I have to think about is the versatility of the space for it to double as an event space.

— For a classroom setting, you want to let people have the choice to stand or lounge or kick back. Providing the opportunity to learn in a way that’s best for you for that day means you’ll be engaged.
— If you know you can go to the back or stand up, you’re more inclined to go.
— You need rows of chairs and desks for events, you can provide in ways to use that furniture to enhance the space instead of having to move it out of the way.
— Do a mini discovery session, support 3 key activates.
* A process to help better understand what’s working in the space. 
* Here are the top three things we want the space to support, look at what’s there right now and you can see if those things are supporting those activates. Provide other options to see if those things will work to find the right solution.

5.   Herman Miller does projects to create collaborative environments in work spaces, libraries, classrooms. Are there specific features for these settings that differentiate from one another?

— For Herman Miller, they want all their products to seamlessly integrate in any space, if it’s a space that has high traffic, you look more into materials.
— Make sure you pick products that fit the need of that space. 
Is it going to withstand the traffic and durability that’s necessary for that type of space?
— Explore the word collaborative. 
* If its library leaders, what does that mean? If it technology leaders, what is their opinion on collaboration, why?
* Collaboration is a crazy word in education spaces, its gonna mean something different for every person. Get the voice of the students, their idea of collaboration is different from people that will use it like grad students.

6.    In a survey, I asked if you would be interested in knowing about what others are working on, 63% people said yes. The idea of creating some type of service that allows people to gain info on people’s research, be able to reach out and collaborate if they share common interests?

Researches want a space that’s protected because what they’re working on is very personal and private which may cause an issue. It would be interesting to understand to what degree do they want to share it. If faculty are doing some specialty research, they won’t want to share it.
— Ask to what level are you willing to share.
— How to do you get awareness to what’s going on?
— Is it social media or an anonymous digital installation?
* Here’s the title of the research, here’s what’s going on in the space today. You can see that you’re doing work alongside someone that’s doing something different. You can anonymously connect or share.
— A kiosk – these are the kind of activities going on this week and hope that word of mouth gets it out there.
— More branding to make it more fun and playful, 
* statement letters, or vision statements or purpose statements
* the people that are doing their research have their true north statement that what their working off of as their direction and that can be digitally printed or stated somewhere so you can tell that what’s going on in there is research, so its like this think tank
— You don’t have to totally reinvent the space, just reinvent enough that people know what its intention is, so when you walk through there you know it’s the collaborative zone. I go in there cause I’m going to do something unique and different.

7.    When you think about services, what potential services should be there to draw people in?

Having a “coffee bar” promotes impromptu conversations
— you’ll run into someone while getting coffee, its’ very open culturally, with intention that people don’t stay in their work stations and get out and see other people. 
— Creating a space they have to go to for those impromptu conversations. 
— A little niche area that can be a coffee service for 6 hours of the day, you just employed people and you have a functioning service that people come there for and it automatically creates more noise and buzz, its no longer a very stagnate place to go.
            

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