I’ve finally finished my retail design but I’m going to wait to post anything on it since it is a competition and the deadline isn’t until the end of this October.
I’ve gotten a new project, which is a Steelcase design competition. This will be the third corporate office environment I have designed and up until now I really wasn’t excited about it.
This morning, however, I happened to stumble across Astra Zeneca’s collaborative corporate office in Bangkok and their office happened to get me really excited about designing office interiors. Astra Zeneca is a “global research-based biopharmaceutical company” and their office in Bangkok is a collaborative environment. Usually the types of corporate offices adopting open plans and a collaborative work environments are creative agencies or places that do more creative work, like architecture firms, design firms, advertising agencies, and you get the picture. You wouldn’t think a biopharmaceutical company would adopt an open plan/collaborative work environment but they did and I think it works really well for them. How many of you would like to work in an office designed like this?
Corporate office design always just seems repetitive and boring to me. Even the design of creative agencies is boring to me probably because I feel like I’ve seen the same stuff over and over. And there’s really nothing new here either except for the fact that the branding and the architecture is unique to the project, but that’s just it – it made me realize that corporate design isn’t just about being repetitive so you can fit as many people as you can into one office space. It’s about how do you break out of that rut and create a facilitating work environment that will impact employee’s lives every day. You do it through architecture and design. It’s not enough to just pick furniture and call it done. You have to cut into the ceiling, cut into the walls, and that’s when the design starts creating an energy that transfers to the work of the employees. When you’re able to do that in your design, that’s when open plan/collaborative office environments really start to serve their purpose.