The home of architecture and design in Asia-Pacific

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

Donald Lampe for Lamex

With global expertise and resources, but a firm focus on Asia, Lamex has established a strong position as a leading manufacturer of office furniture solutions in the region. Its Director of Product Management, Donald Lampe, tells us more.

Donald Lampe for Lamex


November 15th, 2013

In 2006, China-based office solutions provider Lamex became a member of HNI Corporation, the second largest office furniture company in the world with headquarters in the US.

Donald Lampe, who recently joined Lamex as Director of Product Management after having spent 35 years at HNI, tells us how this milestone move has given the company a significant edge eight years on.


Rateo, Recta and Optima – a trio of office solutions designed to meet today’s collaborative work needs

Can you describe your responsibilities as Senior Director of Product Management at Lamex?

My current role involves the leadership of Lamex’s engineering group, as well as their product development and product management group. So what that means is that not only do I have responsibility for new product development but I also manage our current portfolio and our current legacy products, and all the engineering work that goes with that. I’m now talking with our customers in the marketplace about what new products we need to develop, as well as what we need to do to our current lineup to make it relevant in the marketplace.


Rateo, Recta and Optima

What are the most important recent workplace trends that Lamex have identified?

Some of the early ones that we have identified include technology – how it will impact the way we interact with our fellow workers, as well as how we personally do our work – and the shift in social interaction and the social changes that we see manifesting itself not only in the tier 1 cities in China, but also starting to filter out into the tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

And I would say that the change in the kind of social networking and the hierarchy of how companies are establishing their workspace is probably the biggest trends that we see specifically within China. The traditional Chinese set up of an office, I think, is evolving. You’re bringing in more of the collaborative areas, you’re bringing in more of the ability for the worker to interact socially. The concept of sustainability is also coming in very strong within the China market. So you put all of those things together, and you start to understand that there are dramatically different new products that need to be developed to address all of those changing needs and changing wants in the market.


Rateo, Recta and Optima

How is Lamex developing its products to meet these trends?

We are developing products that will fit that different emerging market. We are out there working very hard to understand our customers’ needs – how they work today, and how they will work in the future. And what we are trying to do is incorporate those designs and those requirements into our new product development efforts.

Can you give examples of products that are addressing these workplace trends?

Rateo, Recta and Optima is a table desking line that can be combined in different ways and methods, allowing individual team members and individual workers to interact with each other in different ways, based on the niche of the business.

We’ll also be introducing soft seating products very shortly, which will be targeted towards the more collaborative, casual areas.


Ranger – ergonomic task chair designed for the Asian user

Do you collaborate with external designers or are the designs produced primary by an in-house team?

It’s a little bit of both. We have designers from Germany and Italy that we work with, and we’re also trying to work with the local Asian designers to make sure that we have the Asian style reflected in our products. And because we are part of the multinational HNI family, we can leverage on all of the designer relationships that our parent company already has.


Lamex office solutions

Are there any specific challenges when it comes to developing office solutions for the Asian market?

Because Asia has such a diverse economy and is such a diverse marketplace, we have customers all the way from the SOEs, to the MNCs, to the small startups. This diversity requires Lamex to bring a multiple array of product solutions to the market.

What would you say really differentiates Lamex and its products from its competitors in the market?

We want to be that trusted partner for our customers, for our dealers, and we do that by making sure we have a good solid understanding of what the Asian culture is. As part of the multinational HNI family, we are able to bring concepts and ideas from the rest of the world to this region, but what Lamex is making sure to do is to adjust those products to fit to the Asian culture and to fit to the way the Asian company and the Asian worker wants to work.

It is a big requirement, and one that has caused us to really work very hard at having that big diverse offering that you see that Lamex has, so that we can meet all of those different needs within the Asian market. And the fact that we manufacture here in China means that we’re able to react quickly to the changing market. All of Asia is changing very fast, and you have to be nimble enough to react to that.


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed