The new Director of M Moser Associates in Singapore brings with him four decades of experience designing for MNCs. He talks about forging good relationships, and how design can make a difference in the workplace.
April 29th, 2011
Steve Louie, who has recently joined M Moser in Singapore, is not only recognised for his considerable strengths and passion as a designer but, as M Moser Singapore’s Regional Director Stephen Lyon describes it, for his “natural gift for teaching, galvanising the teams around him, and fostering real partnerships with clients”.
Only a few months into his Director role, Louie is currently putting his attention into developing the design teams and setting up what he calls “a Design Culture” for the Singapore office.
Louie’s experience working with large corporations worldwide makes him a good fit with M Moser, itself is a global firm specialising in the creation of workplace environments.
Louie’s previous project: Zurich Insurance (3rd phase).
“To me, being a designer means having the power to improve, to influence and to change people’s lives in their workplace. It means making a difference,” says Louie.
Beginning his career in New York in 1972, Louie has been doing just that for close to 40 years in projects across the US, Europe and Asia, for clients such as Goldman Sachs & Co, Vodafone, Zurich Insurance, and Warner Bros.
Of the many projects, Zurich Insurance Japan is particularly special to Louie for the longstanding relationship he has forged with the company and its executives.
First project for Zurich Insurance (1995).
“My first meeting with Manuel Eichmann, CEO of Zurich Insurance, was on the grounds of suspicion,” Louie recalls. “He didn’t trust the advice of consultants. That point of view changed into one of trust and a long-term friendship that has lasted over 15 years, and continues up to this day.”
The Zurich Care Centre (call centre) he did was also significant for the effect it had on the workforce. “The office environment in Japan was in a word, Grey. Creating the ’Brand’ of Zurich’s Care Centre with the strong injection of colour not only brought them out of the Edo period, but the new space had a drastic impact on their employees,” he says.
“The attrition rate, typically 2 to 3 years for call centres, was reduced to less than 3 percent. This was a clear result of creating a space where the employees were made to feel they were more than just ’hired hands’.
Executive floor of Zurich Insurance.
Louie continued working closely with the company on a succession of call centres, his involvement extending into other areas such as recruiting and logo design.
“The most important consideration at the start is to have a full understanding of the client’s objectives. It’s surprising how often solutions fail to address the brief. That is because words can be misinterpreted. In fact the 500 most commonly used words can have over 1400 different meanings.”
Read indesignlive.asia for updates on M Moser and Steve Louie.
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