Delivering 40+ years of world-class hospitality education, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Hotel & Tourism Management (PolyU SHTM) has been voted #1 in the world for Hospitality, Tourism & Services. At the beginning of 2022, TeamMate was approached by BAP Technology Consultants regarding a refurbishment of several rooms in the Hong Kong PolyU School of Hotel & Tourism Management building.
The brief outlined that there were three rooms within the project’s scope known as the Tan Siu Innovation Hub. The first room was a Hybrid Classroom, where users could sit in groups and collaborate whilst being able to turn and look at the front of the class display if required. There was also a need for a display on the desk for students that had to remotely join the session online.
The two other rooms were both computer labs which primarily were going to use laptops. The requirement for both rooms was the storage of the laptops within the furniture. Computer Lab A was required to have more traditional (forward facing) teaching furniture, whereas Computer Lab B was to adopt a more collaborative approach. The furniture selected was required to enable the removal of laptops when needed and stored again when used for normal teaching methods.
An additional challenge was the timeframe involved to finish the project for the start of term in September ’22. In addition, the number of products would mean there would be a large amount of crating to ensure that finished goods would arrive safely.
Following careful consideration and through an iterative design process with BAP and PolyU, TeamMate designed a suite of products for the SHTM project. TeamMate also undertook various logistical challenges associated with crating and storing of the finished items until containers arrived for shipping.
The Hybrid Classroom used x7, 7 Seat TeamMate WorksZone Tables, each table was equipped with power surface modules with USB (A+C) charging. The room also had an Educator Desk VariHite in a white finish as the lecturer’s workstation. The colour pallet for the room required the worktops to be finished in Formica Storm Matte (58) with a white powder coat metalwork finish.
Both Computer Labs used TeamMate’s clever Laptop Cubby System in both furniture options. Each cubby was designed to accommodate the University’s standard laptop in a fabric pocket with cable access and Kensington lock provision. These Laptop Cubby’s were then mounted into two furniture options: Computer Lab A used a Laptop Cubby Desk which was specially designed by TeamMate, this enabled rows of traditional forward-facing PC desks in either 2 or 3-bay variations. Computer Lab B however utilised TeamMate’s WorksZone Laptop Table as this was for more of a collaborative setup. These desks were mobile and could be repositioned if the client wanted to move them. Both rooms used a TeamMate Educator Desk VariHite as the main teaching lectern.
The Laptop Cubby provided the ability to securely store laptops when users wanted to use the desks for normal working practices – then when needed, the laptops can easily be positioned in front of each user. Inside both the Laptop Cubby Desks and the WorksZone Laptop Table, shelves were positioned to enable the mounting of any laptop power banks, which limited any tampering with cables during sessions. Each laptop enclosure was lined with a heat-resistant fabric that prevents users from damaging laptops when storing.
Hong Kong PolyU SHTM is very happy with the solution and the attention to detail TeamMate offered in the design of its products. TeamMate was able to provide slightly configured and fully bespoke solutions for all three rooms depending on the required teaching styles. The laptop cubby was a game changer as it enabled the university to continue to use its standard laptop configuration but with stylish and accessible AV furniture solutions instead.
TeamMate is one of the very few companies where I have no problem specifying products with customization. It surpassed all expectations throughout the project life cycle and made the process a real collaboration between all parties to achieve the very best result for the client. The client is pleased with TeamMate solution because every single detail is considered, for example, the laptop cubby is well designed so that the interior is made using a Buzzi Skin fabric to prohibit any scratch to the laptop. It’s a thoughtful design and it’s what makes TeamMate stands out from the others.
Karen Ng, Senior Product Manager