Founded in early 2014 by Edward Tan, Spacemen are Storytellers of Space. An award-winning design firm that specializes in building brand architecture. Our design approach seizes primary brand strategies and ideologies, transforming them into unique one-of-a-kind spatial experiences that tell stories. Spacemen's portfolio ranges from hospitality venues, restaurants, experience centers, retail stores, furniture design as well as embarking on commercial, residential, and corporate projects. Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Haier, a pioneer in the home appliances industry, became the world’s first to introduce a series of complete one-stop smart home solutions including their U+ Smart Life Platform at the CES 2019. Spacemen collaborated with Jaxda and Bokeh to design Haier’s flagship experience centre in the heart of Shanghai City to showcase their latest technologies and innovations. Jaxda provided engineering, project management, and construction support while Bokeh created the immersive digital experience.
Situated on a busy shopping district flanked by furniture malls on both sides, the intent was to create a calming user experience for visitors that allowed them fully engage with the brand, products and its services in a relaxed state of mind. The original façade was stripped down and veiled with a layer of translucent polycarbonate panels. During the day, the minimal white box emerges as a sharp contrast to the busy shopfronts of neighbouring stores plastered with posters and advertisements. In the night, the facade becomes a beacon of light emitting a soft white glow that draws the attention of pedestrians.
From a far an illuminated ring can be seen hovering in the middle of the lobby acting as a vortex drawing pedestrians within to continue their journey. The central gathering space features 10m high circular atrium and a sculptural spiral staircase, It is flanked by four columns wrapped with LED panels and projectors concealed within its circular white walls thus offering a 360° cinematic view of projections as visitors meander around the lobby or ascending to explore the upper retail floor. A pure material palette of white terrazzo, recon stone and polished grey mirror in the lobby space evokes a sleek avant-grade aesthetic that compliments the technological elements of the brand.
The experience centre is divided into 3 main areas; ‘The Smart Home’, ‘The Future’, and the ‘Product Experience Zone’, with an array of other programmes inserted in between the main zones such as an office, staff training area, meeting rooms, breakout lounge and kids area.
In the ‘Smart Home’, Spacemen fitted the four core home living scenarios; living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, with Haier’s latest intelligent appliances that are either voice activated or connected to a passive activation device. These devices are all interconnected and intercommunicate which allows one word to control all smart devices. The home is also equipped with an air conditioner unit that can sense and determine the environment to adjust temperature accordingly.
Concealed digital screens and projectors are seamlessly integrated into the wall panels and cabinets of the entire showroom, coming alive only when visitors come within close proximity. This encourages visitors to interact with the ‘Haier Smart Home Cloud’ platform which allows access to real-time information about the products being monitored and controlled with an app on their phones.
A soft palette of natural oak timber, off white walls and terrazzo define the interior of the home. Strategically placed openings of greenery provide privacy between the living room and bedroom. While inserted zen gardens create framed views for the bathroom as well as a quiet moment to pause before visitors enter the smart home. The floor-to-ceiling window spanning the entire living room is integrated with a voice activated Haier lighting system programmed with the capability to replicate natural day light settings for any time of day through any of the four seasons with lush greenery filling the frosted glass faux window.
‘The Future’, is an immersive multi-media cinematic experience where real and virtual elements, spatial dramaturgy, and brand communications are perfectly choreographed spotlighting the latest and most iconic features of Haier Smart Home. Activated by movement, it allows visitors to connect and interact with the brand and be part of the exhibition.
The ‘Product Experience Zone’ displays consists of products from Haier as well as products from its premium kitchen brand, Casarte. A variety of network-enabled products that are expected to disrupt the market including the world’s first fibre-detecting washing machine, which can automatically identify the fabrics of the clothes and select the corresponding wash and dry cycles, as well as the world’s first intelligent multi-zone cooling and heating air conditioner featuring intelligent recognition and air zoning. Monitoring station also allows visitors to read live statistics and readings as the entire experience centre features Haier’s ecosystem for fresh air, water filter and hot water supply amongst many.
An interplay of architecture, nature and the latest in smart living technology, the Haier Smart Home Experience centre created by Spacemen, is a holistic brand experience that brings the brand promise to life by connecting Haier with the people.