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PolyVision - Motif

What does the work-wall of the future look like?

Modular Whiteboard Polyvision Motif being assembled
  • 1 linked opportunities

  • 1 concepts

  • 1 hour to install 12m2


The market of whiteboards is a mature market which did not change much in the last decennia. PolyVision decided it was time for disruption. This is the story of MOTIF, our first PolyVision collaboration, the story in which PolyVision as a supplier of materials starts creating new products themselve to grow the category successfully.

We designed and co-developed a modular, easy-to-install and great looking whiteboard eco-system that won the hearts of both users, installers and Steelcase.

  • Received Award : Design award Red Dot logo

    Red Dot Design Award

  • Good Design Award

  • International Design Award, Bronze

Researching user behaviour We love to seek.

A raw material provider can become a product owner. For PolyVision, it started with building use cases.

We decided to go deep. To fly around the world for observations & interviews, to skype with plant managers and installers, to record everything in pictures, notes, and diaries, while working side by side with all stakeholders to analyse the market and supply chain.

The customer research we did turned into 60 ideas, four tangible key-concepts, and 20 relevant linked opportunities. As the insights formed, we knew we were on to something.

Management intervention The buy-in prototype

When the R&D manager at PolyVision had to get the budget approved for production, an estimated three years of development, our designers helped him by offering a buy-in prototype to support the pitch.

We armed our PolyVision colleagues with true to life prototypes & sales booklets when entering the global innovation summit of the company. Of the 40 confidential sales booklets shared, the sales representatives returned none.

Before we knew it, we received a go for product development, and we were on our way to the States for installer validation tests. The company was ready for change.

Embrace the gap: The seam between CeramicSteel plates is a feature, not a problem.

Timothy Macken, Made

Why is this product such a good idea?

We noticed installation takes ages and walls are rarely straight. PolyVision was focussed on trying as much as possible to hide gaps between different plates of ceramic steel. We nudged them to embrace the gap and make it a feature. Winning the hearts of both installers and users.

We're helping installers to make transportation and installation much faster and easier. We offer users a modular solution, in great looking finishes, to integrate in any interior, ready for any use-case or setup.

Installing Polyvision Motif

Ease of installation for craftsman Because walls are uneven

Not a single wall on the planet has a surface that is 100% even. Installing a seamless whiteboard-wall on an uneven background proved to be a challenge, even for the most seasoned craftsman.

We turned the problem into an opportunity; Instead of trying to be seamless, we use the gap to increase installation efficiency.

Made Designers collaborating on Polyvision Motif

Nudging the collaboration between users Because whiteboards help you communicate

How could we make a whiteboard that excels in its key-functionality? Seams provide the end-user with a visual backbone to cluster ideas they develop and share, while interior designers can make more walls work for their clients.

Ease of management for PolyVision Supply chain & product managers love it

Having standardised offerings with clearly defined sizes & variations has simplified the internal workings of the organisation, building brand equity at the same time.

This product is a potential game changer for our market.

Wout Van de Broek, R&D manager

Clever and fast

Lightweight and easy to install, with no visible hardware, Motif’s unique mounting system radically reduces time and costs while ensuring an even work surface on the most uneven walls.

People can adapt their whiteboard structure to their needs, allowing countless variations. Users can now install whiteboards where they work, instead of putting people into spaces where whiteboards are.

Divide unused wall spaces by using three sizes of panels and create a visual framework to cluster ideas and tasks.

Installing Different modules for Polyvision Motif

Turning material business into product businesses?

Planting the flag of innovation, PolyVision now has a successful flagship product of their own, motivating the team to build more offerings.

Evidence of success

A revolution has happened. PolyVision's challenged their market with a game-changer. The definition of good industrial design.

How did this revolution impact the organisation?

  • PolyVision is now a product owner,
  • Steelcase incorporated PolyVision's Motif is in its global offering,
  • Made is working on different new products,
  • PolyVision has launched its innovation centre.

We are glad to be a part of this story, in which an ambitious R&D department teamed up with us to change the market. The story continues.

Different modules for Polyvision Motif

From material manufacturer to product developer

Working with the material experts of PolyVision was a great experience with excellent results.

Some fundamental dynamics that made our innovation work:

  • Trust:

    PolyVision allowed their perspective, as a raw material expert, to be challenged by an external partner. Grant us the freedom to uncover the potential that is out there.

  • Inspire:

    PolyVision integrated our design thinking methodologies in their research & development team along the way. We are inspiring them to prototype & iterate in the process of working together.

  • Relate:

    In the end, it is about allowing opportunities and synergies to arise, investing in discovery. Find a partner that respects your expertise and is willing to challenge you with his point of view.

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