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Inspiration for D & E Studio

creative office space
We have added a new, innovative and definitely think worthy facility to our list

Read about how we created this incredible space

Having recently purchased a new office space for our industrial designers to make their home, I tasked myself with the interior design of the building, ensuring that we could keep costs at a minimum but still create a ‘wow’ space. Between Stephen and I we discussed that it needed to meet the industrial designers’ needs, incorporate our company culture and most importantly; capture the creative hearts of our customers who come to us with new concepts and want us to take it from idea to reality.
Construction and room transformation

I came up with an initial design whilst ironically sick in bed thinking I had Covid-19 (the proverbial deathbed but fortunately I tested negative). I wanted an industrial feel, with black walls and ceilings, some natural wood and I was insistent that there would be a motorbike hanging on the wall. Somehow and somewhere. I made sure to incorporate our brand identity but with a touch of yellow and some greenery. Stephen on the other hand had his own requirements which was a pinball and an arcade machine. There had to be an element of fun and down-time included in the limited space.

Before and after office space area transformation
The presentation I created and show-cased to the industrial designers was well received and they seemed excited at the space I was going to create. I wanted this space to be fun and reflect creativity on immediate entry. Our business is classified as “manufacturing” and our staff would commonly be called “blue-collar workers” but if you’ve met me, I am far from blue collar and far from ordinary. The aim of our business with its recent merge has been to be far from ordinary, very much out of the box and extremely unique. You won’t find many businesses in South Africa where they can offer a client professional R&D, qualified industrial design, through to molding and all the way to manufacturing, assembly and delivering, all under one roof. At the same time our business has its own brands innovating, designing and manufacturing all our products in different industries. Therefore, this space which we decided to call “Think Tank” needed to be “Out the Box and extraordinary.”
Re design and transformation of office space before and after

Our builder, external contractors and one of my team members, Elain Dreijer, were phenomenal in implementing my ideas. The most difficult part for me was by far the shopping, curating, and sourcing of the furniture, lights, gaming equipment and greenery (so everything…lol) because I had to be mindful of cost. Everything was triple checked on price and quality. But this makes the wheel turn slowly. A project we thought would take 2 months took approximately 5 months. The significant changes made to an empty shell building were blocking up a staircase, building brand new bathrooms in a tiny space, re-creating a kitchen with a coffee bar and adding a workshop. Finding a place for the gaming equipment was probably the most creative aspect of the design. We blocked up the staircase going down to the factory and created a lowered mezzanine floor to walk down into to play some games. I had to lower this area to hang the greenery and lights which I was adamant on having.

bike transformation

I sourced an old-battered motor bike all the way from Rustenburg, purchased from a photo sent on my cellphone. The price seemed reasonable but when it arrived everyone laughed at my purchase. I did start to doubt myself but fortunately I continued with the vision and my builder came to my rescue knowing a bike panel-beating company that could repurpose the bike. He also had wonderful ideas on restoring it which included adding an old looking number plate and adding our family crescent, giving it sentimental authenticity. It’s now an air loom we will leave to our sons one day. What wasn’t factored into my original design was the Star Wars and Lego meeting rooms. These were birthed from seeing phenomenal custom-made wallpaper on Instagram which sparked the idea of finding Lego and Star Wars images, printing them onto wallpaper and turning the rooms (which were originally planned as offices), into funky meeting spaces. It was virtually impossible to find Lego or Star Wars furniture but if you look hard enough online and walk through enough stores, you can find inspiration and improvise.

Lego in an office
I believe good design provides people with a place to spend time together and create memories to bond. Why should that only apply to one’s home? It should equally apply to a working environment. Design is so important to me because it effects the way one feels. I wanted to make the Think Tank space better for the designers and an awesome experience for all those coming through our doors from other employees, customers and even interns.
To our dearest staff, I hope you enjoy your new creative space and lots of innovative ideas are ignited.

My budget tips for an interior design project:
1. Price check constantly
2. Online has better price deals than in stores
3. Have a vision board, I prefer Pinterest, so you don’t stray too far from your vision
4. Get comparative prices from different contractors and suppliers
5. Look for good sales
6. Reuse and repurpose furniture and pre-loved items
7. You don’t always need to purchase best quality fittings; they can be built on-site. Making it yourself exactly what you want can be more feasible.
We have added a new, innovative and definitely think worthy facility to our list
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One Response

  1. Howzit Veronique

    Brilliant article, I love the “Before and After” images of the motorbike.

    Many years ago, I walked around with a shoebox lid showing family, friends and work colleagues a model of a house I intended to built.
    Most laughed, until they came on site. So I know the feeling when people think you crazy, so well done to you and the team.

    Best

    Jerome

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Veronique Stanley

Group CCO & Attorney

Before devoting all her time to PIMMS Group, Veronique O.C. Stanley practiced as a litigation attorney for 20 years and could be seen in the Johannesburg Labour Appeal Court, the Labour Court and the likes of the CCMA and Bargaining Councils. Although her title states CCO, her portfolio also includes the head of legal, head of marketing and head of HR. As much as Veronique is a black and white A-type personality, always insisting that PIMMS Group strives for legal compliance, she also has a very creative side wanting all customers to have an unfathomable manufacturing experience when they partner with PIMMS Group.

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Stephen Stanley

Chief Executive Officer

Stephen is the founder of PIMMS Group which provides both services and product offerings to inventors in various industries to the man on the street. Stephen is a formidable entrepreneur with a tooling and engineering diploma under his belt. He has a passion for inventing amazing products which people will want to use whilst being an awesome husband and father to 2 amazing boys.

Product material research study

If you have an existing mould and you are unhappy with the moulded products, we invite you to consult with our engineering team. They can conduct a product material research study on your behalf at a reasonable fee to determine the requirements of your product, what the mechanical properties need to be, the weathering and UV stability needed, whether it’s an engineering application, whether it needs to be printed on, whether it needs to withstand chemical resistance and other considerations.

Mould Maintenance

We highly recommend performing services on moulds (just like servicing your vehicle once a year). We can receive the mould at our premises and undertaking the following:-

 

  • Open mould and clean both halves with degreasing fluid;
  • Strip off clamping plates, risers, ejector plates, springs and broken water connectors;
  • Check wear on pillars and bushes, ejectors, sleeve ejectors, push back pins, springs, slides and wear plates
  • Check condition of sprue bush, runners, gates, split lines and venting
  • Check working of each hot runner nozzle and manifold
  • Make a list of minor repairs like replacing worn ejectors, re-dressing of shut offs, opening venting channels, replacing water connectors, O-ring seals, and quote for labour and replacement parts.
  • Replace all listed parts as ordered and clean mould parts from oil, grease, cutting fluid, mechanics blue, shavings and water
  • Assemble mould using appropriate lubrication for all moving parts.
  • Do a water flow pressure test and a hot runner/manifold heating test with a suitable controller.
  • Run through the same preventative mould checklist before the mould is stored on the shelf.

Project management

Our clients refer to us as the “glue” that keeps their projects together and on track. Our developed insight into all necessary functions is integral to a clean development process. Our visual communication skills often become the “interpreters” between various departments of our corporate clients. Our qualified and professional team guides your product through the various checkpoints to ensure a successful outcome.

Intellectual property (IP)

We’re able to provide all CAD and drawing information you require to secure the IP for your product. We can also refer you to several IP legal service providers.

Graphic design

All bells and whistles accounted for! From branding to instruction manuals to marketing material, we offer a highly specialised graphic design service to account for your launch needs.

This includes:

  • Technical and user manuals
  • Branding
  • Decal designs
  • Animations and imagery
  • Sales brochures

 

Using the latest modern software lets us generate computer animations and images for websites, print, and any other related marketing materials.

Product packaging

Usually, packaging is the first product experience the end-user usually has with your product. It is critical! Yet, so often this design function is left to the last-minute and treated half-heartedly. We design excellent, product- and concept-specific packaging ensuring a valuable, memorable and complete end-user experience.

3D printing or prototyping

For this, an exceptionally important part of the development process, we have our own 3D printing machines, rapid prototyping machines, and workshop facilities. Outside facilities are also at our disposal, both locally and in China. We base the choice of prototype method not on our facilities, but rather on which prototype solution is best suited to the required task.

Experiential Prototyping

Preliminary Prototyping

Final Prototyping

Product design development

Our Product Design development cycle looks like this

  • Conceptual Design
  • Product Engineering (Detailed 3D CAD Design)
  • CAD Drafting
  • 3D CAD Modelling
  • 2D Specification Drawings
  • Photorealistic Visualization
  • 3D Product Animation
  • Design Clean-Up & Modification
  • Metal Component Replacement

Innovative problem solving

It takes a great amount of experience to solve problems in innovative ways. Good thing we’ve got oodles of the stuff. We provide insight into multi-discipline solutions, guiding you to the most cost-effective and viable decisions at every juncture. This creates a wonderfully clear direction early on in the development process. As we go, we explore how parts are manufactured, how they fit and fasten to one another and how they interact with any of the standard components in the design.

The IGC (Idea generation consultation)

At our IGC we sit with you over a brewed cup of coffee and brainstorm your idea.

Don’t be nervous, we’ll ask the important questions, draw sketches, strategise and assist with formulating a realistic budget.Don’t be nervous, we’ll ask the important questions, draw sketches, strategise and assist with formulating a realistic budget, and bring forward creative solutions to meet your requirements.

We offer product material options, manufacturing options and help you understand the project roadmap that will take your product from an idea to a tangible reality. We’ve got you!

Keeping your idea protected is paramount and we understand the need for confidentiality and trust. We love NDAs and are more than happy to sign one. In fact, we even have an NDA template if the dog ate yours.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower

Steve Jobs.