Electronic Arts (EA)

At Electronic Arts (EA), the world’s leading interactive entertainment software company, groups of developers, designers, producers, engineers, game artists, and programmers team up and create games and then form new groups and create more new games. EA studios, located throughout the world, are filled with workstations, and much more.

Take the EA studio in Burnaby, British Columbia, as an example. This campus — which the EA Canada website calls “one of the most welcoming, innovative, and comfortable workplace environments in the world” — has a soccer field, basketball court, gym, spa, multiple video game arcades, a 3,000-square-foot theater, coffee bars, and a cafeteria.

The reason for the great amenities, Herman Miller Corporate Business Manager Carla Maruyama explains, is that “they are drawing top talent from all over the world. The attraction and retention factor is a major player in the design of the building–both interior and exterior.”

Jennifer Druehl of Herman Miller Workplace Resource Vancouver says that “it’s the most amazing facility I’ve ever seen. It’s a really fun, cool place.”

But what really differentiates the campus, according to Herman Miller Technology Consultant Tom Swihart is the technology. “It’s one of the most intensive technology uses I’ve ever seen,” he says. “Their sheer power needs are huge because they support a number of electronics at the worktop, their monitors are extremely powerful, and their technology is networked. Even if their technology wasn’t networked, their technology needs would be extraordinary.”

Each workstation has to support four game consoles (Xbox/PlayStation 1 & 2), two 17-inch monitors, one 17-inch television, one telephone, and one task light.

“We understood, first and foremost, that an IT solution would be the focus for this client,” says Global Account Team Strategic Business Consultant Rick Golden. And that meant Ethospace. “Ethospace is typically the best choice for a company with high-tech needs,” Swihart explains. Plus, Ethospace could accommodate EA’s rapid growth and frequent moves.

“We’re constantly moving,” Frank Bassett, EA Canada senior director of Facilities and Corporate Services, explains. “As a game goes from preproduction to production and then finals, some people will go on to other game teams.”

At mock-up time, A + D firm MCM Interiors Ltd. asked that they be presented in two stages–the first stage to demonstrate how the frames go up and the wires go in.

“In phase 1,” Druehl says, “we put the frames up, then the electrical and data cabling folks came in and wired it up, so EA’s electricians and IT people could see that it was all lay-in. It took 15 to 20 minutes. If they’d come in late they would have missed it.”

During the second phase of the mock-up–held two weeks later–the Herman Miller team showcased Ethospace aesthetics. “We narrowed it down to the two finalists,” says Mr. Bassett. “After they presented to us, it was apparent that Ethospace was the best choice for us. The onsite demonstration sealed it.”

“We planned for the future,” Mr. Bassett says of the company’s furniture buy. “We’ll be able to handle our data requirements in the future, without having to buy new furniture.”<.p> © Herman Miller 2008, Zeeland, Michigan

Herman Miller Products

  • Ethospace System