AKQA is acquiring a majority stake in Universal Design Studio and industrial design consultancy Map Project Office. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The moves will help the WPP agency bolster its capabilities in the space design (Universal) and product design (Map Project) spheres.
"Every industry is either transforming or being transformed because of convergence," says Ajaz Ahmed, CEO, AKQA. "AKQA has and will continue to play an influential role in the convergence of multimedia together with the accessibility and ubiquity of connected devices. Now it’s about playing a role in the convergence of other industries, such as product design, environment design, retail and hospitality."
Both of the acquired agencies will retain their current branding and organizational structures. The three design practices will create a new environment under the same roof at AKQA’s London studio, while also establishing bases in key AKQA offices internationally.
Also a dedicated Research Lab will also be established in the London studio where teams from all three disciplines will collaborate.
Combined with Universal Design Studio and Map Project Office’s employees, AKQA employs around 2,100 professionals in 23 studios across the USA, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.