Blacksheep brews new interiors for Diageo lab

Drinks giant Diageo is overhauling its UK development laboratory – where drinks such as Smirnoff Ice and Baileys Minis have been created – with a reworked interior design to promote more interaction and ‘creative group working’ across its staff.

The research arm at Diageo, The Global Brand Innovation Group, has appointed Blacksheep to carry out the project, with a brief to ‘create a future-facing scheme’ for its lab, which is based at Diageo’s office in Bishop Stortford.

It is the first time the lab – dubbed D-Lab by Blacksheep – has been redesigned in over a decade. According to Tim Mutton, director at Blacksheep, the previous site was ‘disjointed and quite basic’.

‘There was a need for greater creative interaction among the workforce. The old lab had a lot of separate rooms,’ says Michael Donnelly, product innovation programme manager at Diageo.

The 149m2 space will feature a more open layout, with ‘user friendly’ elements to boost interactivity among the staff. It will be divided into an office area, a laboratory and a flavour library, where development ingredients are stored. The items provide the initial creative stimulus for new flavour profiles on products.

Blacksheep has also developed a range of furniture for the lab, creating bespoke benching and workstations. Overall, the lab (pictured above) will have a white colour scheme, and a pale blue ribbon of colour will run along the central area of the floor to signal ‘peaceful, calm thinking’.

The lab is due to launch early next year.

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