Standard Life

Innovation Lab

“The Downstream team brought specialism and skill to create a truly immersive experience.”

Clare Moodie, Head of Innovation Lab, Standard Life


Standard Life cares about people’s futures, trusted to look after pensions, life savings, and retirement needs for nearly 200 years. Standard Life is now part of the Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business.


As part of Standard Life’s organizational transformation within the Phoenix Group, the goal was to create a flexible environment to host a diverse group of users supporting co-creation. We needed to design a collaborative space for Standard Life to create and deploy solutions for clients, advisors, and partners, setting the industry standard for financial innovation.


We understood the importance of crafting a warm and welcoming environment tailored for collaboration across multiple user groups from C-level customers, HR, employees, partner teams, and end customers. The Innovation Lab is an immersive journey that shifts to offer bespoke experiences where solutions are explored with customers. We designed a flexible technology experience to support a wide range of content presentations across various touchpoints, allowing visitors to explore solutions matched to their needs. This Content Management system (CMS) allows Lab Managers to create and schedule engagements relevant to the brand and audience.


Executive clients experience an emotional connection to their end-customer’s life journey, leaving with a desire to bring their teams back immediately. HR Managers actively explore tailored solutions for their end-users and employees feel involved, engaged, and inspired to innovate. The Lab, a first of its kind, has enjoyed enormous success since its launch at the end of 2021 and looks to open more Labs in the future.


Concept Development

Brand Strategy

Environmental Interior Design

AV/ Technology Systems Design

UX/ UI Design

Front-end Software Development

Back-end Software Development

Motion Graphics

The Guest Lounge sets a warm and welcoming environment for clients to relax before the engagement begins. The Welcome Wall showcases personalised welcome messaging, including brand updates and tailored content.

As visitors enter the lab, the space opens to present a layered and pleasant environment. A combination of curved walls and straight lines convey softness and direction. The sophisticated use of materials and unexpected architecture draw visitors deeper into the space.

A gesture-enabled “black mirror” LED screen comes to life and tells human stories of inspiration through compelling data visualizations.

A comfortable soft and private space, introductions for the day takes place at the Launch Wall. The session agenda is tailored to the needs of the visitor group, and discussions focus on the voice of the customer and the goals of the engagement. This space is also used for the session wrap-up and takeaways at the end of the day.

The Coffee Bar, located next to the Launch and Collaboration Space, provides premium hospitality, making all clients feel at home and relaxed.

The Collaboration Space supports flexible, client-tailored agendas. A large interactive LED wall provides presenters with the freedom to navigate content in a non-linear way. Movable furniture and whiteboards offer flexibility for various client groups.

Demonstrations of market-ready solutions across various mobile phone and tablet devices.

The Immersion Corner is a flexible space for a more intimate discussion or an AR/VR demonstration. The movable panels create flexibility for different use case needs.

The Agile Studio is a modern, flexible working environment where visitors can see work-in-progress solutions in real time. Movable curtain panels allow controlled natural light to enter the space.

Visitors can view solutions the agile teams are currently working on and experience prototypes in action.

Through the main hallway, we find the interactive Community Wall, allowing visitors to explore content about the history, company partnerships and the community.

The Launch and Engage Wall applications extend to mobile functionality for on-the-go presentations.

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