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Project: "IBM - Watson Headquarters"
Company:The Switzer Group
Designer(s): Lou Switzer, Elizabeth Holechek, Luc Massaux, Erica Mattison, Iris Etgar, and Sean Steinbugler and Cristian Stefanescu , United States
Category: Interior Design, Professional
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Entry Description: The Switzer Group (TSG) was retained by IBM to provide full interior design services for IBM Watson’s new 120,000 square foot global headquarters located at 51 Astor Place. Watson, the supercomputer we all remember on Jeopardy, is a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer. In February 2013, IBM announced that Watson software system’s first commercial application would be used to learn information, gather data, and generate hypotheses for more informed decision making within the healthcare industry. The Watson Headquarters occupies floors 4 thru 7, in the new 12- story glazed-glass building designed by Architect Fumihiko Maki. There are three main areas of focus: The Design Studio and The Client Experience Center (CEC). The Switzer Group created an environment for IBM, which promotes collaboration and interaction between creative staff. With IBM’s “THINK” philosophy as the driving message, TSG designed a non-static, flexible space consisting of movable partitions, tables and marker boards; “THINK” nooks were strategically placed on all 4 floors in order to promote the flow of ideas and brainstorming sessions. The CEC is where Watson sits and clients can come to interact and learn about its capabilities. CEC is used by the marketing department as a sales tool and is comprised of a variety of space including a 360° immersion room, 2 conference rooms and two open bars. The CEC room is controlled by an Oblong System along with a 40’ LED touch screen which allows presenters to control all lighting and media by a handheld device.

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