We were asked to design spaces for three offices/fictional companies within a building run by The Office Group which develop and operate beautiful flexible office space solutions for a vast array of buildings across the UK and Europe. All the common spaces are designed to an impeccable level with the use of high end brands and aesthetics that respond to the buildings that host them. Each open plan office is divided into three spaces and a designer is allocated one of those spaces. The three fictional companies were; a Media company, a Beauty company and a Tech company.
My space: Sustainable Beauty Brand - Breakout space
We were told that each designer will be judged on their individual spaces as well as their overall team design, and we needed to effectively partition the zones as each space had to feel distinct.
I did a lot of research into the aesthetics of TOG to ensure that the offices that we designed were aesthetically aligned with the buildings that we would be designing in and their brand identity. Below are some of the inspiring images I pulled from their website to illustrate the high level of design they deliver to their clients and users.
Designing a space for a fictional company is very abstract, and trying to communicate this vision effectively via three designers to a judge who don't see any of the design development phase is even harder. As I have said in my previous posts - I lean heavily into my clients to deliver their wishes and aesthetic to ensure that the design is representative and relevant for their company values.
I initially designed a draft mood board knowing that this would have to change once I discussed the overall vision with the other designers I was to be working with. I was told I would be working with Charlotte and Micaela and below is the mood board I presented to them during our initial meeting.
From this point we had only one week to finalise the design, source and prepare all items to be delivered to the location. We all had very different ideas of what the sustainable beauty brand office would look like. So I felt it was imperative to try and create a singular vision that we would work towards, but allow for artistic interpretation within each of our spaces.
We discussed at length the brand identity that we envisaged a sustainable beauty brand to have and how we would represent this. We agreed on the following:
With this in mind, I refined my mood board and updated my 3D model to represent the end vision for the space.
We had this bespoke pattern printed on fabric to make the screens which would form our partitions between the individual spaces. Micaela, with her soft furnishing skills, used these fabrics to make the screens to divide our spaces. We specifically opted for a non-permanent divide to allow the space to be flexible and open up fully for when the company would host launch parties.
As you can see on the video, and my mood board, I wanted to install an ombre curtain work pod in the centre of the space. I had to prepare these before arriving in London as creating an ombre curtain is messy and complex.
Here is what I did:
We started by painting all the pale blue/grey walls white. And then, in my area we started by marking out and painting the massive green stripe that divided the whole office in two, and helped to centre the curtain pod. I also upholstered four benches to go around my co-working space in skin tone faux leather. Tying into the idea of using skin tones. The co-working table is also varnished using different wood tones to tie into this similar aesthetic. I created a pattern of a table tennis top to allow the clients to use it as such for after-office social events or client launches. Hoping that this would answer the fun element described in the breakout space brief.
As part of our imaginary sustainable beauty brand ethos, we decided that sourcing vintage furniture would not only tie in with the brand ideals, but also fit in with the aesthetic that we decided to go for. I love incorporating vintage furniture into my schemes as this sustainable, gives a space a sense of heritage and permanence and also is less wasteful. I had access to quite a few antique and vintage warehouses nearby so I set a task to source for my space and also help out my fellow designers.
Day 2 we had to continue working on all the final details before installing the space ready for revealing to the judges. I had a lot of curtains to hang and with the pod space, you may be able to tell, I had to drop the curtain by an inch or so to get it closer to the floor, otherwise it would be too short. I had to hand tie each clip with invisible thread - what a pain! If I was doing this for a client the curtain would have been custom made with a ready made ombre fabric.
I also made a bespoke see-through art work to bo above the sideboard. This was inspired buy one of the other spaces featured on the TOG website, and I felt it helped to create another separation between the lounge and the co-working space, whilst not totally cutting off the space visually.
This week was so stressful with the lack of space and I wish I had more headspace to be able to stand back and re-assess it again. I think that one of the judges couldn't look past the co-working space as more than just a pingpong table, but overall I am really happy with the direction I decided to go for in this space and would love to have done this whole space within this aesthetic (with a realistic budget and time frame)