For innovative startups and established brands alike, a row of cubicles and a drip coffee machine are no longer satisfactory tools for a generative work sphere. To keep up with the speed of modern development, more and more companies today are tapping the expertise of architects and designers to develop bespoke offices that foster productivity, innovation, and creativity.
One of the first firms to bring a creative and playful approach to office spaces was Evolution Design. Around 10 years ago, the company had never worked on such projects, until Google Zurich approached the firm with an idea for an office that specifically caters to the needs of its employees. “Google was one of the companies who realized that if they wanted to keep up, then they would have to change the way people work,” Evolution Design’s creative director, Tanya Ruegg, told Artsy. “Because if people are sitting at their desks all day long, there will be no innovation.”
Evolution Design’s solution to Google’s unique request required an equally individual approach. The designers began interviewing Google employees and found that many of them are, as Ruegg suggested, “kids––like big kids.” To better support Googlers’ playful nature, the firm decided to include recreational areas like a room for video games, an aquarium with napping pods, and space for athletics, as well as a range of unconventional workspaces.
Some critics called the building childish, but for Google’s team, it fit the bill. “These types of people really need these extraordinary elements in order to keep them creative and motivated for work,” Ruegg explained.
Google Zurich’s individual style shows that there isn’t one creative approach to office design. Every workplace has particular needs, and a truly creative office employs design that is inspired by its employees, while helping to keep them inspired. Below, we share the stories behind six other creative offices with individualized approaches to the workplace.