Wolff Olins appoints Martin Hargreaves to CD role


Wolff Olins has appointed former Jaguar Land Rover retail experience specialist Martin Hargreaves in a key strategic appointment that deepens the consultancy’s global focus on environmental and experience design.

Martin Hargreaves

Hargreaves – who takes up the role of Creative Director for Environmental Design and Strategy – returns to Wolff Olins, where he spent 15 years as a 3D designer in London until 2010, then a stint as a design director in the New York studio in 2013.

His remit is to translate ideas into physical spaces and experiences, extending from physical products, such as furniture and installations, through to larger environments such as retail spaces, workplace solutions and events and exhibitions.

The hire is part of the company’s global push to further embed environments capabilities and experience design into its core offer.

“In this industry, the environments piece is often left to other agencies to develop,” said Hargreaves. 

“This means a gap in the continuity of thinking can occur and the environment doesn’t fit with the brand. It requires a specialist skill set to create, develop and deliver – we want to close this gap to create coherent brands across all touch points.

“Wolff Olins has always been a pioneer in how brands operate and communicate. This is the right place and time to explore and expand what brand experience means today.”

Wayne Deakin, global principal for design at Wolff Olins, described Martin’s experience in architecture, transport, automotive and retail as industry renowned. 

“Martin is a super smart designer and thinker with over a quarter of a century of experience, creating physical and human experiences for famous brands across the world.

“Martin deepens our capabilities – making sure brands stretch into the physical, digital and virtual worlds, bringing to life how they surface in multiple and flexible ways to create more meaningful experiences for the customer. 

“It’s fantastic to have him back onboard and part of our growing global team.”

Sairah Ashman, global CEO, added: “Martin’s appointment is hugely important to us and our clients, marking our commitment and vision for how we see brands evolving. 

“We need to create emotional connections between brands and their audiences – and those relationships are forged and deepened in that sweet spot where brand and experience meet. 

“I’m delighted to welcome Martin back, having a significant impact on our work with clients around the globe.”

Hargreaves was the global retail experience manager at Jaguar Land Rover for nearly four years until 2019, where he led the enhancement of the showroom experience, developing new touchpoints that connected customers with intuitive and interactive content. 

He was also instrumental in developing Jaguar Land Rover’s boutique concept, as well as its global flagship in Munich and Sunbury UK. 

He then became a freelance environmental design specialist, working closely with Wolff Olins and key clients, including AXA, Genesis and GSK.

“We are physical creatures and still need real world, physical and social engagement; we have to think about how things feel, smell, taste and sound, and how we merge these with digital experiences. 

“They all have a role to play in developing a more comprehensive relationship with a brand,” added Hargreaves.