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RICOH

PRISM, 3L | In the R&D business for future value creation, Lada engages in experience design and sound production.

Expertise

Concept Proposal / Content Experience Design / Sound Production / Sound Design / Acoustic Design Production

Outline

Lada, in collaboration with RICOH members, has been involved in various proof-of-concept experiments and prototyping activities at RICOH 3L, a research hub for the future of work, and the futuristic meeting room called RICOH PRISM. From the pre-construction phase, the team has addressed the broad theme of creating value in workplaces and communities. They have tackled challenges, proposed content ideas derived from these challenges, and actively explored the intersections of technology, such as data utilization and sensing, with sound.

Through repeated experiments, they have delved into the possibilities of sound design production in the era to come, aiming to understand what constitutes value creation in working environments and communities.

Process 1. Total Sound Planning Utilizing a Sound Map

Under the concept of creating a future meeting room that enhances team creativity, RICOH members and external partners gathered to discuss the tones of various music genres, visualizing the physical and psychological impact these tones have on people. This served as a basis for discussions on the tones that PRISM required.

Before creating specific content, this period of contemplation on how to define the presence of a space through sound became a crucial Phase 0 for the subsequent project.

Process 2. Content Experience Design and Sound Production for the Future Meeting Room, PRISM

PRISM, constructed with a 5-sided projection on walls and floor, along with a 10.1ch multi-channel sound system, is divided into three areas: Gather, Wander, and Tune. Numerous contents have been created within these realms.

As part of the total sound production process guided by Process1, addressing the core concept of ‘enhancing team creativity,’ new challenges and discussions emerged during the collaboration with RICOH members. Lada proposed and shaped the concepts for new experiential designs such as ‘supporting concentration’ and ‘self-reflection,’ aligning with the core concept. These proposals were then brought to life through conceptualization and experience design.

Contents 1. SHIRO Conceptualization / Customer Journey Design / Generative Sound and Visual Design / Sound Design

Positioned as the operating system of PRISM, SHIRO was conceived to function as a fundamental meeting room while providing hints to create a better atmosphere by reflecting the team’s state.

To explore the appropriate experience design, sound design, and visual design that could capture the vague concept of the team’s state, weekly experiments were conducted with two-way testing. Through this iterative process, the team delved deep and developed generative sound design and emotional layers on the wall that change audio-visually, as outlined below.

Generative Sound Production Design

Contents 2. NEURO DRIVER Conceptualization / Customer Journey Design / Interactive UX Design including Sound / Sound Design

Amidst the creation of multiple content pieces that engage with the team, the discussion shifted towards the need to create a space for self-reflection. In response to this discourse, Lada proposed and designed NEURO DRIVER, from conceptualization to UX design.

The necessity, timing, and methods of self-reflection during work were developed through refining persona settings and enhancing customer journey design. The proposed concept emphasized the idea of ‘liberating oneself from the past, embracing the future, moving the body, and concentrating on the present.’

The experience of NEURO DRIVER combines digital content utilizing sensed data, centered around the expansion of bodily sensations. Integrating the style and form of Tai Chi, the content aims to disconnect users from the overwhelming speed of information that typically surrounds them. This unique blend provides an experience that enhances body tuning and concentration, aligning with the universal act of working and the necessary tuning for the future of work – a characteristic content offering for PRISM.

Process 3. Designing a 'Sound Garden' Utilizing Sensing Data from the Workplace and Individuals: Proposal, Conceptualization, Generative Sound Design

At RICOH 3L, where numerous project teams coexist, Bar Life Work serves as the most liberating space for casual interactions. With the concept of turning the connections and interactions among diverse individuals in this shared ‘space’ into sound, Lada proposed the concept of ‘3L soundscape’ and brought it to life at Bar Life Work.

The ‘3L environment’ encompasses factors such as daily weather, air pollution, the speech situation of people working inside the building, and population density. By converting changes in these sensing data into sound, the designed ‘soundscape’ at Bar Life Work creates an immersive auditory experience. Even if one is not directly involved, stepping into the lounge allows one to sense the richness of activities of everyone working throughout the entire building, creating a living sound garden.

In this project, there was a specific challenge of determining meaningful ways to utilize and translate the acquired sensing data. To address this, we iteratively refined the concept, testing and improving it over time. The idea of intersecting environmental sensing and individual activity data within one space, using sound as the central element, was realized through a continuous approach from concept planning to sound design. This cohesive approach enabled us to achieve a meaningful solution.

Process 4. Sound Planning for Business Implementation and Replication

With the expansion and replication of PRISM within 3L, we conducted the design planning and equipment selection for the audio equipment.

The objective was to recreate the completed space in other locations while considering the unique acoustic characteristics, constraints, and usage patterns of the new places. This involved selecting speakers, designing, and constructing everything from the ground up, including considerations for the ease of operation in the back-end operations.

Impressions from RICOH staff About our partnership with Lada

Q1. In the process of collaborating with Lada as a partner for the design of the audio experience in PRISM and 3L, we would appreciate hearing your overall evaluation and impressions of the project.

Mr. Haruki Murata
RICOH Corporate Planning Headquarters

Lada has been involved in PRISM since the conceptual stage, shaping the overall character and experience design of the entire service through sound design.

It was a unique task to support work activities in a specialized space, but thanks to the bold concept and meticulous implementation, Lada consistently delivered excellent work. This has contributed to the release of PRISM as an advanced product.

Q2. In addressing challenges and perspectives in the workplace and among people, while collaborating on challenges to guide in a positive direction through a sonic approach, please share any contributions or insights that you felt Lada brought to the table.

Mr. Haruki Murata
RICOH Corporate Planning Headquarters

Lada leveraged the insights gained from PRISM to propose plans for the overall sound atmosphere of the 3L facility. They explored how the auditory environment in a space where people work and live creatively should be.

Lada, in particular, proposed excellent plans that empathized with the mental state of the main users—creators of the space. With their outstanding execution capabilities, they implemented the ideal auditory environment in 3L. Currently, our employees are surrounded by the sounds envisioned by Lada as they go about their activities.

Q3. As you continue various initiatives towards creating value for the future, if there are specific aspects related to sound that you anticipate or have expectations for, please share those with us.

Mr. Haruki Murata
RICOH Corporate Planning Headquarters

Sound directly connects to the brain as one of the five senses, and we consider it a crucial element for eliciting individual creativity.

Moreover, human conversation, a primitive form of communication that has been integral to human interaction throughout history and will continue to be a creative act, leaves room for exploration in how auditory environments can support conversations.

As we continue to provide value to the environments where we work, we hope to receive your continued support in leveraging your planning and execution capabilities centered around sound.

About sound creation, acoustic design, and experience design

Q1. How was the collaboration with Lada in terms of sound creation and acoustic design?

Mr. Yuya Kato
RICOH Fw:D-PT

I had the opportunity to collaborate mainly on content such as WOW, ANIMA, and SHIRO, leveraging the full potential of PRISM.

In WOW and ANIMA, being enveloped by the sound allowed for a deeper immersion into their respective worlds, while SHIRO provided a pleasant experience where one could lose track of time and become completely absorbed.

Content development often tends to prioritize visual and functional aspects, but Lada’s sound elevated the resolution of the content, resulting in a high level of completion. Each time, I have experienced the strength of the impressions and influences that sound can have on people.

The seamless experience of transitioning between various distinctive content within PRISM is made possible by Lada’s meticulous sound design and adjustments. I believe it’s a testament to the achievement of Lada’s work that allows for such natural and immersive experiences.

Q2. In the development of PRISM's experience programs, I was involved not only in sound creation but also in other aspects of experience design. How would you rate Lada's contribution in this regard?

Mr. Yohei Takano
RICOH Fw:D-PT

Lada’s contribution to the experience design in which we collaborated was remarkable. The scenes were intricately woven with human movements and emotions, creating immersive experiences. Particularly, the design demonstrated a deep understanding of diverse cultures, offering a fresh and profound perspective even on the relatively conventional theme of “working.” Lada’s rich sensibility and design skills, translating that into experiences, resulted in captivating content that never fails to engage.

Q3. If there were any particularly impactful or insightful aspects you experienced or noticed while working on the sound design and audio experience design for PRISM during its development process, please share.

Mr. Yuta Kimura
RICOH Fw:D-PT

Ladda has provided sound to PRISM twice.

The first time was when we created PRISM from scratch, and together we took on a new challenge of combining sound and video to change users’ behavior and mood.

The second step is to increase production of PRISM. In order to spread PRISM, it was necessary to recreate a space with comparable quality as an experience in another location. In contrast to the first time, we had them help us recreate something that already existed.

We are a reliable partner who can explore and create new sound values together, or create solid sounds based on what we have a model for.