- Article by Online Editor
Above: Adam Scott, FreeState Creative Director, Rob Backhouse, HASSELL Managing Director, Gerard Corcoran, HASSELL CEO.
International design practice HASSELL has merged with London-based firm, FreeState, a multi-award winning group of user experience designers founded by Adam Scott, Ben Johnson and Charlotte Boyens.
Based in London and working internationally, FreeState has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest brands including Sony, Nokia and Virgin Atlantic, as well as world-class property developers including Brookfield Property and Exemplar.
The studio is an expert in developing user-focused stories, designed journeys and immersive experiences that connect people with brands, each other and places to create a more valuable end product. “What we’ve seen really clearly over the past 20 years is a shift into the era of experience. By that I mean that people are increasingly placing value on ‘experiences’ over ‘things’ and their expectations of those experiences are very high,” says Scott, citing a recent survey by Harris Group that found 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things.
“What that means is that brands and places now live or die by how well they inspire attraction, involvement and a sense of belonging,” he explains. HASSELL Managing Director Rob Backhouse says the merger is about responding to this significant disruption by expanding the HASSELL offer beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture and design to encompass new and innovative ways to deliver value to clients and end users.
“Our shared vision is to design the world’s best places – places people love. This merger adds a new dimension to our practice – market-leading capability in user experience – which will give us and our clients a valuable competitive advantage,” Scott says.
HASSELL + FreeState have already started working together on client projects, with Arup engaging the practice on its workplace strategy for the Australian region, including developing Arup’s regional workplace strategy.