so, with depression now approaching, it seems like the perfect opportunity to point out some workplaces where a lucky few experience an emotion other than dread as they walk past reception every morning, to be greeted with an office interior which has actually been designed by someone possessing more creativity than a gnat.
1. pixar - designed by bohlin cywinski jackson
for the pixar staff to work in a space anything other than brilliant would’ve been an immense shock. i can’t imagine the team churning out films like the incredibles whilst sitting on a collapsable plastic chair, colleagues fighting over the only pritt-stick in the room. the staff don’t have normal cubicles to work in, rather wooden cabins full of comfortable furniture and gentle lighting. the whole place looks extremely comfortable and, more importantly, productive.
2. red bull - designed by jump studios
ironically, the red bull headquarters’ offices resemble a workspace designed by a human recently injected in the spine with the energy drink. everything about this place is shiny, smooth, angular and slightly manic and there’s even an effort-negating slide connecting floors for the lazy bastards who forgot to drink their regulation can of the good stuff in the morning.
3. google zurich
anyone who’s been plugged into the intertubes in the past few years will probably have seen the google offices already. the photos above are of the zurich office, surely the most non-productive workplace on earth. they’ve got slides, ballpools, countless pool tables, relaxation pods, a fireman’s pole… all to please people who are already getting paid an obscene amount of money just to turn up and work for one the most powerful companies on earth.
4. tbwa - designed by klein dytham
at first glance the tbw office in downtown tokyo looks more like a recreational park with a roof. look a little harder though and beyond the grass and beautiful wooden seating areas are staff, apparently hard at work. unless your colleagues were a complete pain in the arse it would be difficult not to at least slightly enjoy your time here and it’s a credit to the design firm, klein dytham.
5. pallotta teamworks - designed by clive wilkinson architects
pallotta teamworks’ headquarters can be found in los angeles inside what must be the world’s most homely warehouse. due to budget constraints all the offices and workhouses have been constructed using recycled materials, the majority of the staff’s offices housed inside old shipping containers. it could’ve looked awful but an intelligent colour scheme and a lot of imagination have made this easily one of the world’s most intriguing offices.
i’m not sure who was responsible for the design of the threadless office but, judging by the brilliance of the product they sell, i wouldn’t be surprised if the staff themselves did. the place looks like it’s been this office for decades: worn in but incredibly ‘hip’. walls and furniture are covered in graffiti, high ceilings somehow result in a cosier environment and no staff member can be seen to possess less than 2 widescreen monitors at their desk.
7. ilse media - designed by wat design
the staff at ilse media like pixels. massive pixels. the interior of their office is covered in huge pixelated pictures - an ice-cream truck in the cafe, a mail-van by the toilets and telephone booths in the main office - to the point where the table cloth is home to pixelated dinner plates holding pixelated food. the icing on the blocky cake would surely be a zx spectrum at every worker’s desk.
8. danone waters - designed by klein dytham
the last thing you want to be surrounded by while you’re at the office is thousands of the products you’ve been paid to create / sell and subsequently have nightmares about. however, the klein dytham designed danone waters office in tokyo is excused due to the fact that the use of the product actually serves a purpose: to divide the rooms into workspaces. thousands of empty plastic bottles have been arranged into dividing walls and it looks pretty good, if not slightly fragile.
9. three rings - designed by because we can
according to their website, three rings are responsible for developing ‘persistent world online games’. more importantly, their staff work in what i believe to be both the coolest office on earth and one of the very few steam-punk workplaces in existence. there’s too much to mention for a man as lazy as myself so go to the designers’ website here to read more info and stare at more photos, including one of a (not very) secret door which leads to an equally secret lounge.
10. mother, london - designed by clive wilkinson architects
advertising agency mother enlisted clive wilkinson architects to design their cubicle-less shoreditch offices and the result is incredible. one continuous 240ft long concrete table, which the designers claim is ‘probably the largest table in the world’, sweeps through the building and can seat up to 200 staff, all of whom are encouraged to sit at different locations every 4 weeks to shake things up a bit.