By Anna Sekula Posted November 9, 2011, 2:12 PM EST
NEW YORK Lauded by Fortune earlier this year for its active approach to social media, Dell is stepping up its communication with consumers. In an effort to connect directly with creative professionals—architects, fashion designers, filmmakers, and the like—the computer company broke from its traditional launch event model and built a pop-up public workspace in NoLIta last week. The studio-like set up, which took over Openhouse Gallery's 19 Kenmare Street space for three days, was tied to the November 1 debut of the new XPS 14z, a new laptop in the brand's slim-size, high-performance collection. As with an increasing number of pop-ups these days, the promotional platform was designed to allow the public to fully test-drive the gadgets on site, rather than just eye the products.
To further engage those in the arts, Dell developed a program of workshops, discussions, and events that included participation from architect Ilaria Mazzonleni, Doug Jaeger and Kristin Sloan of creative studio JaegerSloan, and film director Dito Monteil.
Tasked with the design of the temporary office was Dell's experiential agency Super! Alright! and Andrew Stevens and Kim Swift of We Came in Peace, who looked to emphasize the “thin and powerful” tagline of Dell's XPS series, while producing modular furnishings that could be moved around based on the activity taking place in the venue. To that end, the white space had Flux chairs—flat-pack foldable seating created by Dutch designer Douwe Jacobs—and walls with circular panels that flipped open to form desks. The latter were also movable structures set on casters that could be pushed aside to open up the floor for reception-style events.
In addition to promoting the use of the hashtag #DellXPS, the tech corporation sought to inspire a dialogue between attendees and the brand with the experiential platform's schedule of events. The agenda included a hands-on workshop with denim designer (and Dell creative ambassador) David Lim, a screening presented by VJ and projection artist Shantell Martin, and a party for Big magazine's Big Report.