Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development opens new HQ

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Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) has opened its new head office in the newly constructed Nihonbashi Muromachi Mitsui Tower in Tokyo, Japan, which was finished in March 2019. The new TRI-AD office is located on the 16th to the 20th floors with a total floor area of 21,500m².

The main work spaces are now in use and the remaining facilities, including the new entrance, cafeteria, assembly hall, and employee relaxation areas, will be open in December 2019.

All TRI-AD employees were invited to contribute to the design of the new office through an initiative badged ‘Hello New Office Workshops’, held over the past year. Volunteers were involved in the creation of design concepts, and developed the ideas for many of the unique aspects that support a creative and happy working environment.

An innovative design and layout is said to encourage engineering teams to embrace the ‘scrum’ agile development style. A central ‘street’ connects each area, facilitating cross-functional collaboration and efficient interaction between teams and individuals. On the corner junctions of the ‘scrum’ workspaces there are special ‘stage’ spaces customized by employee volunteers and adapted to suit each team’s needs and provide a pleasant working environment.

One of the guiding themes underlying the new office design is the AI Palette concept – AI is a technology element centered around people, and Palette refers to the diverse teams working together. In order for this vision to become a reality, the following elements have been incorporated in the design:

A ‘street’ connects all working areas, providing ample opportunity for people to get together and exchange ideas.

The ‘dashi board’ enables teams to freely express ideas, and people can gather around the ‘pit stops’, which are fully movable, to discuss these ideas.

The 20 personal mobility devices, such as Toyota’s Winglet, can be used to maneuver around the building. Along with having a fully usable kitchen, there is also a relaxed environment conducive of coming up with innovative ideas.

The working area consists of honeycomb-style standing desks. Its design enables team members to gather and generate ideas on the spot that promote agile innovation, which will ultimately lead to high productivity and transparency in the workplace.

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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