Workspace Design Giant Unispace Acquires Experiential Content Shop Downstream

October 18, 2021 by Dave Haynes

In another sign that companies specializing in workplace design need digital experience chops, Unispace has acquired the Portland-based experiential design firm Downstream.

Unispace, which is based in Sydney, Australia but has offices all over the place, says it has bought a firm that is great at integrating interactive digital and physical experiences in global tech hubs, flagship retailers, major sports venues, education spaces, and other public and private destination environments around the world. “This partnership broadens our capabilities and adds significant new services and expertise, allowing us to better support our clients. Together, we provide agile, end-to-end experiences fit for today’s ever-changing global brands.”

“Now, more than ever,” the company says, “workplaces must be about people, and the experiences they provide. We have led the way in guiding our clients’ office strategies with Propeller, our framework for the future workplace. Now, with Downstream, we have significant new hires across the globe and can better partner with enterprise clients and provide the ultimate answer to what’s next for workspaces and beyond.”

“Work is no longer just a place; the focus is experience. Downstream’s team and approach enhances our ability to empower our clients with the most impactful environments for their most valuable asset: their people. This is our commitment to rising above the talk and to taking action,” says Steve Quick, CEO of Unispace.

With a main office in Portland, and more people in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Melbourne, Australia, Downstream has a global Fortune 100 client list.

No deal terms were announced, at least not that I found.

“We have worked with Unispace for several years, and we’re excited to integrate our teams to bring our shared expertise to this moment of opportunity: the reinvention of space as we know it,” says Tim Canfield, CEO of Downstream. “Today’s employees and customers want experiential and brand focused environments that draw them in for collaboration, socialization and connection. Together, we can deliver that in a powerful way.”

The Downstream Portland office will add to Unispace’s existing studios in San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. “Our global growth strategy is focused on enhancing our ability to position clients to thrive in our new environment, and the acquisition enables us to combine world-class experiential design expertise with our integrated approach to strategy, design and construction. We also share values; both of our cultures inherently embrace change, with a commitment to innovation, DE&I, corporate citizenship, and a genuine passion for the people-centered experiences we are creating,” adds Quick.

This makes a bunch of sense as design firms are increasingly building digital experience into their practices – most notably another global design giant Gensler, which now has a BIG experiential digital team.

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