COMMERCIAL PROPERTY | Clarist Zablan, Hong Kong

EY's Hong Kong wavespace focuses on unlocking blockchain's potential

The company aims to use the space to help its clients achieve digital maturity.

EY’s wavespace center in Wong Chuk Hang, located at the heart of the startup ecosystem, functions more like an innovation lab, where clients can explore blockchain solutions and service offerings, or co-develop business models and opportunities through the centre’s design studio, showcases, workshops, labs and incubators, and pop-up centers.

Each of their 20 wavespace centers across the globe focuses on one or more digital capabilities, like internet on things and artificial intelligence.

For that purpose, the Wong Chuk Hang wavespace is equipped with Microsoft Surface Hubs that allows clients to connect with EY talents across the globe to collaborate on projects.

“Instead of using PowerPoint or email, Microsoft Surface Hubs allows for more efficient teamwork, diminishing physical boundaries,” EY Asia-Pacific Head of Design Iñaki Amate told Hong Kong Business.

In terms of framework and methodology, the space draws inspiration from the wavespace center in Union Square, New York. The physical design on the other hand, is based on the lessons EY gained from designing similar environments.

EY incorporated a design team, who then got rid of traditional paper and printers and designed the space to be modular to accommodate work ranging from large workshops to breakdown sessions. For that purpose, all furniture came equipped with wheels.

“Keeping the wavespace brand, whilst keeping the EY identity and offering a space to go beyond was a great design challenge,” Amate said.

A Mexican chopper motorbike equipped with a Chinese engine can also be found in the space. The vehicle comes with a demo that tells whether the rider is getting tired and how old they look like.

Beyond aesthetic efforts designed to foster novel ideas, the wavespace has a keen focus on financial services and technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sectors, but it is welcome to businesses of any sector. They have particularly worked with an undisclosed automotive firm on reinventing their business, a beverage company on leveraging blockchain technology, and a financial services organization with preparing and adapting with their vision and purpose.

“Through wavespace, we hope to contribute to the cross-pollination of ideas and transfer of knowledge to drive the capability development of talents in digital, creative and experience design – skills that are becoming highly relevant in the thriving digital economy in Hong Kong and across Asia-Pacific,” Amate said.

EY has expressed plans to open more wavespace centers in China, after it opened its first flagship China center in Shanghai World Financial Center in 2018. 

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