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Design and the Workplace

Society’s disdain for the corporate workplace is most certainly a modern and “first world” phenomenon. What was once the standard cubicle design has now become the symbol of an eternal and hopeless monotony that one must avoid at all costs.

The New York Time’s article “The Post-Cubicle Office and its Discontents” attributes this shift in attitude to the 90’s tech boom: “Creating a playful office became one of the standard ways of attracting skilled employees in a competitive environment: The hope was that a talented engineer wouldn’t leave a tech behemoth for the dinky start-up next door that didn’t have a gym and a resistance pool.”

As “the office” has evolved over the last century, so too have our expectations. Now, pleasant workplaces have become that much more desirable, making a position at such a company much more covetable. No longer confined by the rigid walls of cubicles, companies seamlessly include cafés, yoga studios, play rooms, and even speakeasies into their office. All of the above make up the modern “office” and contribute to the company’s intended, unique experience—A worker at Dropbox walks through the lobby and is reminded of the vastness of storage. The faux Zen garden of Indeed offices inspires calm throughout the hectic workday. The brightly colored art dotting the many collaborative spaces of Etsy’s offices promotes happiness and creativity in a way that a cubicle wall never could. And a yoga class at KWERK’s very own yoga studio finishes the day.

Whether or not these changes come from millennials and their increasingly high expectations, offices have become design and architectural marvels, and we think that should be celebrated! Not only does it show how design can act as a reflection of a company’s values and goals, but it also creates a cohesive work experience.

Check out some of our favorite office designs around the world.

Dropbox Offices – San Francisco
The moment you step into the lobby of Dropbox, you see the company’s core values reflected in its design. Massive, floor-to-ceiling mirrors stand for the infinite depth of storage and possibility. The large terrestrial moss balls that float overhead show that their offices are an imaginative, evolving space.

Vanke Co-creative Space—Shanghai
Located in China, Vanke’s new co-creative spaces boasts an interactive play on knowledge and amusement.

Squarespace Offices—New York City
New York City’s Squarespace Offices are more mature in its color scheme, contrasting dark wood with glossy white surfaces. Focusing on depth and texture instead of color, Squarespace utilizes polished concrete floors along with wood slats as wall treatment to create a beautiful and warm work environment.


Indeed Offices—Tokyo
We love how Indeed Offices in Tokyo incorporate traditional Japanese architecture and art into their office design!

Etsy Offices—New York City
Etsy’s offices in New York City are bright and playful, and not surprisingly, showcase beautiful hand-crafted artwork.

KWERK Coworking Offices—Paris
Created by its two founders, KWERK merges boutique hotel design, stage design, and the art gallery to inspire openness, curiosity, and creativity.
Glantz Design – Evanston
We may be biased, but we think our new office space makes the cut, too! Floor to ceiling windows, airy, open desk pods, and plenty of room for collaborative and solo work.

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