In this Q&A , Downstream's new leader for ANZ, Simon Pole, shares details on his new role, his priorities and what he's most looking forward to over the coming months.
Congratulations on your appointment to lead Downstream across ANZ in the role of Principal, Experience Strategy! Can you tell us what you're excited for in your new role?
Thank you, I’m excited to lead and work closely with the Downstream team who have such an incredible depth and breadth of talent within experiential design.
There is currently a lot of chatter in the market about how to make a memorable experience and achieve maximum engagement – the beauty of Downstream is that we’ve been doing precisely that for over 20 years. Downstream has evolved from servicing the bricks and mortar retail world, where we created unique and memorable ways to attract and maintain the interest of retail customers, into workplaces and sports entertainment. Nowadays, nothing is more appropriate in today’s world across all sectors.
What will you draw on from your previous experience to enhance the Downstream offering?
In my role as Chief Innovation Officer for Unispace, I focused on digital products and service design with a solid foundation in research, and this has certainly assisted with my assimilation to the new role at Downstream. Fortunately, I spent time concentrating on the development of a research model exploring the effects of experience through the lens of the individual.
I think my understanding and involvement blending digital, experience, human-centric approaches and the innovation process, plus 25 years as a Designer creating environments, will come in use while working with our Downstream team and clients.
How are Downstream and Unispace working as a team to better serve our clients?
I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the Downstream and Unispace collaboration since our integration - working together to produce bespoke and idiosyncratic ideas.
There’s a real sense of creative diversity within our team, and the collective experience Downstream and Unispace bring to the table is incredibly valuable for our clients. Every day we focus on creating exceptional experiences and apply our talents to develop holistic workplace experiences – across physical and digital landscapes.
Can you tell us about some of your priorities in your new role leading Downstream throughout ANZ?
We continue to work with a range of well-respected clients on incredible projects, from designing static signage and graphics that tell brand stories, to creating intriguing experiences in museums, and developing giant immersive and interactive digital generative art installations that link to personal devices and data displays.
The ability to create and develop highly complex experiences that have never been done before sits within our in-house global capabilities. I believe corporate occupiers should know more about how we create this magic and be excited to embrace this new digital frontier. So, a key priority of mine is to showcase our projects and capabilities and encourage clients to engage and experiment with the tools and ideas that we have in the lab, so that we can help them to understand the possibilities.
Lastly, what are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
With the real estate occupier market thawing here in ANZ (after a long couple of winters), I’m looking forward to working with forward-thinking clients who see their workspace as an opportunity to create tailored and memorable experiences for their employees and customers. Now is the time to rethink that place we once called the 'office', to accept the new attitude and the new approach to 'work', and positively generate new experiences that draw people together and keep them engaged.
Read more about Simon here
Simon is a globally recognized expert in design and innovation, delivering complex workplace projects across Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia Pacific. The architect of Unispace’s Propeller framework for the future workplace, he speaks regularly in the media and at industry events across the globe. Pole’s ideas and insights enhance workplace performance and change the way firms do business. As an expert industry thought leader, Pole has authored countless white papers and been featured in leading publications such as Forbes Magazine and the Law Society Journal.
Simon now holds the role of Principal, Experience Strategy for Downstream.
With 20+ years of experience, Downstream Unispace is a community of visionary designers, technologists, content developers, account managers and production leads. The company became part of Unispace Global in October 2021. Collectively, they are a company on the forefront of brand communication, reaching around the globe, building compelling brand experiences for some of the biggest and most dynamic companies in the world. With three global hubs in Portland, Amsterdam and Melbourne, Downstream harnesses the latest insights and challenges themselves to consistently seek out new technologies and methodologies to create the impossible.