The key designers were also sent to BMW headquarters in Munich, Germany for brand training. Separately, the BMW team also flew in staff to Singapore to assist with the new brand development to ensure that the team “gets it right” in the shortest time. As every BMW brief is different for each market, there was a need to customise the work done according to unique needs.
As a result, the company saw the need to create a multidisciplinary team that brought together different communications and design disciplines, including an in-house Research & Content development team. This helped to widen the company’s working knowledge of the different design disciplines. Some of the experiences designed by Kingsmen include designing the BMW Series Pavilion in Asia Pacific and the BMW World Stories in Motion event – where instead of a typical motor show, the event was designed to tell the evolution of BMW cars over the years through interactive activities and immersive elements.
Another example of experience design done for BMW is the launch of BMW i series, the electric mobility solution in Singapore in 2016. Instead of a typical brand activation, Kingsmen designed the launched through the telling of stories that form bonds with people, not “consumers” or “clients”. Kingsmen worked to enlighten the public about the reasons behind BMW’s solution of electric mobility. This meant working with environment design experts to create visual cues, design symmetry and imaginative exhibit. This also meant that the exhibition of the new cars had to be public-friendly – with full-length windows for the public and guests who were queuing outside to view the activity inside the exhibition.
Furthermore, they also limited the number of guests inside the exhibition to allow for greater interaction between guests and the exhibition.
Leveraging the work with BMW, Kingsmen saw the opportunity to transform even more.
MINI Habitat at Leng Kee.
The company worked with design thinking consultants to create a specialised curriculum in design thinking that is now a key part of every employee’s development. All employees have access to design thinking courses and developing a design mindset is now a key part in every employee’s development.
The team changed the ways of interpreting and engaging with a brief. Instead of taking orders and working within the limits of a brief, the team now undertakes an extensive research process, which includes focus group interviews, insights from the end-user, and multiple site visits to get a spatial sense of the space. The team then ideates with the goal of creating a unique and transformational experience for end-users.
Driving the change was Deputy Chairman Simon Ong, a design champion in Kingsmen, alongside the team of Creative Directors. Ong is one of the Group’s two founders and is focused on improving the design offerings of the company and for placing design at the core of Kingsmen’s business strategy. The company has transformed its offering which is evident its current portfolio.
One of which is Buds by Shangri-La, an indoor and outdoor immersive play space for children at Shangri-La Singapore. The space is filled with curated installations that takes children on a journey of exploration and self-directed learning. Spanning 2,150 square metres, the play space is divided into various themed zones, catering to the different age groups and interests.
Buds by Shangri-La, an indoor and outdoor immersive play space
for children at Shangri-La Singapore.