In recent posts, this blog has discussed the trend of office design away from monochromatic cubicle layouts and toward more individualized and modern designs. However, while these trendier office space designs can inspire creativity in employees and envy in those who work for other companies, they can also look tacky at times!
Here is a roll call of some of the sillier office design objects of recent years. Are they too goofy to fit in a corporate office space, or tons of fun? Your call:
-A Disco tunnel. One of these late 70s relics can be found at the offices of advertising agency Karmarama. Designed to make the office feel fun, creative, and inviting, this disco-themed tunnel leads into the building’s office area. The offices of Karmarama also include an actual VW camper van, a giant plastic llama, and a red Buddha replica.
-A “grass” floor. Such a carpeting arrangement can be seen in the office building of Innocent Drinks. Indeed, artificial turf covers the entire building’s floor! The offices also include a reading corner with a wide selection of books, a kitchen area full of natural light and benches, and tea stations on every floor.
-Picnic benches. These are a mainstay at England’s Duke Studios, whose office interior has an outdoorsy aesthetic about it. The office area, which took cues from those of Google and Pixar, houses forty-two separate small creative businesses. The office is designed as an open space, as opposed to closed office or cubicle-based spaces, and is intended to encourage employees to communicate with one another while on the job! A noble aim.
-Sky-themed ceilings. Virgin Money’s offices are known for sky-patterned ceiling tiles, which, if photographed in the right lighting, can be difficult to distinguish from the outdoor daytime sky! The ceiling design is aimed at fostering creativity in employees, and to fend off any possible nighttime or early-morning work blues. After all, it always looks like it’s a blue daylight sky there!
-Padded walls, Wieden + Kennedy. The famed advertising agency is known for having mental ward-style colorful padded walls on many of its offices! According to the company, the idea arose from a joking comment to the company’s creative director that, “The way you carry on, you should be in a padded cell.” And indeed he is!