Authenticity in office design

Coworking office design and refurbishment (24)

Originally, this post was born as an attempt to chronologically recompose the latest trends in office design of the last decades and to frame within that evolution the contemporary situation, but by analysing all the case studies, from Antana we have drawn a conclusion that we believe has much more value for our potential clients.

In view of all the information, one realises that, like so many fashions, trends in office space design are cyclical. Looking at corporate headquarters such as TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles, few would guess the year of design and construction if it weren't for the monitors above the desks.

Office design

Now let's compare it with some of the best positioned projects in the rankings of the best offices of 2019, such as the Gusto offices in San Francisco. With the two references in front of us, we see that both occupy a large disused warehouse, both show a more or less industrial style with large steel profiles and exposed installations, continuous flooring... That is to say, we would still not be certain when framing them chronologically beyond the technology that can be seen on the desks and in some of the elements used, which do show a notable development in the synthetic materials industry. The two sites are 20 years apart. This is not an exception; other examples that would be perfectly camouflaged among current projects would be the headquarters of Foote Cone and Belding in California, Quicksilver in Newport Beach or Ogilvy and Mather in Los Angeles. We challenge the reader to look at the reference images and try to guess their year of construction.

Office design

Throughout our career we have observed a curious contradiction in the evolution of office design. On the one hand, some aspects that affect the work environment have evolved relentlessly to make our lives easier and increase our productivity: technology, the materials industry or work methodology, which has changed radically from compartmentalisation to open space and hot desks. However, on the other hand, design has followed neither a defined direction nor a clear evolution, it has passed from the hands of architects to those of interior designers and has moved, rather than by impulses, by random ups and downs.

We believe that design should be developed in a more authentic way. Both client and designer should bear in mind that the benchmarks of these radical changes in design trends are companies that have the firm conviction that office design changes with the idiosyncrasies of the office and not the other way round. In other words, companies that, when designing the spaces of their new headquarters, wish to transmit the values of their company to their surroundings, without settling for a design that is only "cool" and superficial.

Office design

To achieve this, it is essential that companies are advised by companies like Antana, experts in guiding and involving the client throughout the design process. These projects become icons, which are not only beautiful but also perfectly describe the company, consolidating its brand image. In the wake of these icons, pastiche projects by less ambitious designers multiply, made up of singular elements from different references, resulting in designs that in many cases are attractive, but do not transmit, do not last. For this reason, trends in design do not follow a linear development but advance and recede in time, becoming cyclical and in some cases arbitrary, making it impossible to chronologically delimit trends such as futuristic, minimalist, industrial, domestic... or to affirm that they are already past or that they will not re-emerge.

Our mission as designers is to passionately develop authentic projects that are intimately identified with the client's brand image, aiming to become new style icons.

At Antana we are passionate about helping companies, their employees and therefore society through the design of their spaces.

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