What if every aspiring author could contact Stephen King or George R.R. Martin directly and get instant feedback? What if those authors regularly shared short stories, essays, and novels submitted to them by writers trying to hone their craft? What if King and Martin took inspiration from those who submitted work, motivating and being motivated in turn?
What if it were designers instead of authors?
This is essentially the what-if that Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath pitched to Senior Interior Design Manager Juan Pablo (JP) Bernal: a design-focused online community where inspiration could be shared, discussions could take place, and Polestar the design-obsessed brand could communicate directly with designers the world over.
“Thomas had seen my personal design account,” explains JP. “At that time, I was so proud of the launch of the Polestar 2, so I’d posted a lot of the assets and sketches there to help spread the word. Over a lunch meeting, he described an idea he’d had to create a design-focused online community. I said ‘of course’, because I find a lot of my inspiration through these design communities and social channels.”
JP also involved his team of interior and exterior designers, inviting them to regularly peruse the design community’s submissions to get what essentially amounts to a vitamin B shot of creativity. The curated feed consists entirely of sketches chosen by JP and his team.
“They have to be damn cool,” answers JP when asked what criteria there are for a submission to end up being featured. “They have to have that ‘wow factor’.”
And though some of the submissions are more outlandish than others (an autonomous evacuation ship for use in disaster situations, for example), they all share Polestar’s minimalistic, detail-obsessed design language.
“Without communicating any sort of brief, a lot of submissions are on-brand,” states JP. He claims that curating this community is its own reward, as it’s fertile ground for ideas and concepts that come from multiple sources all across the globe, with Polestar as the common theme. “Launching (the community) created a very strong reaction and a lot of engagement, which was amazing to see,” he says. “I try to guide and encourage them as much as possible, which is something I really enjoy. Plus, it’s always cool to see a Polestar sketch, you know?”
Business sustainability covers a wide array of topics, from carbon emissions to inclusion and circularity. To make them work together, we must first recognise the importance of one crucial enabler. One without which all other measures would be inadequate.