Ranging from Indoors to Outdoors
With increased access to information, modern society is saturated with goods and services. This causes consumers to have extremely high expectations for products and services, along with severe criteria for evaluating quality. In addition to the value of products and services themselves, consumers place increasingly more importance on the experience they enjoy as a result of a purchase. Outdoor events, activities, and other experience-based content are particularly gaining momentum. On the other hand, preparing for a long, extremely hot summer is a social issue in Japan. Developing measures to prevent heat stroke is especially an unavoidable issue for local governments and event organizers.
As a dedicated air conditioning manufacturer, Daikin has confronted these consumer needs and social issues. This led us to develop an outdoor air conditioner for the purpose of resolving issues and creating new value.
Overcoming Issues through Functionality and Design
Although water misters and evaporative coolers are conventional means to stay cool in the heat outdoors, the limited feeling of coolness that they offer is no match for the humid Japanese summer. Similarly, the moisture from water misters dissuade women with makeup and neatly coiffed hair from coming near, while the potential hygiene risks stop restaurants from using them. In contrast, Outer Tower delivers a cold blast of dry, dehumidified air to give a pleasant feeling of coolness. Because no water is used, hygiene risks are also minimized, enabling the product to be installed in various places including restaurants.
Due to its outdoor installation, the product must ensure safety in a harsh environment under a blazing sun. Achieving both safety and good design was challenging. While metallic materials must be used from a perspective of safety and durability, design needs require that it harmonize with places of relaxation, such as café terraces, and public spaces, such as station platforms. Because Outer Tower integrates the indoor and outdoor units of the air conditioner, it requires a wide opening to draw in outdoor air. However, simply creating a large opening on the external sheet metal cover to sustain higher performance would expose the internal structure, resulting in poor design and lack of safety. To avoid this, we adopted an overall design that uses a beautifully organized, three-dimensional, vertical aluminum grille to create and hide openings.
Realizing Company’s Commitment
In a world where lifestyles and expectations for product and service value are constantly changing, our aim in developing Outer Tower is to revitalize places that are not utilized due to hot weather and promote creation of communities to bring people together. Today, people have easier access to goods and information, and expect us to have the ability to create new value. To further enrich their lives, companies need to work on monozukuri (manufacturing) even more earnestly. As designers, we also must do more than just create attractive products to express and communicate the aims and commitment that the company is striving to realize.