Having founded Officesnapshots.com about 7 years ago, it has been interesting to see how things have changed over that span of time. While we usually discuss how the grand ideas of Office Design change— things like layout styles, mobility, privacy—there is another side of design that is less function, more fashion, more trendy, more stylish.
Fashion, in the discipline of Office Design, is not something we usually hear a lot about, but it definitely exists and shows itself across all varieties of office spaces.
Style, not design
When speaking about fashion in office design, I'm referring to the look-and-feel of the office as opposed to the structure and function (design) of the office. The two are separate disciplines in my mind.
To put it in clothing terminology, shirts have a specific function – to cover up the upper body. Some shirts however, are quite a bit more fashionable and interesting to look at. Other shirts are plain and boring. But the thing they both have in common, whether fashionable or not, is that they both cover up the upper body.
The same is true in office design. You can have the same basic function to an office (i.e., employees getting work done) but arrive at that function using different styles.
Hello Industrial Style – Bricks, Wood, Cement
One of my favorite office styles is the industrial look. The industrial style of offices uses several common ingredients I'm sure you've seen around recently: bricks, wood, and cement. Think: Old Factory.
I previously showed some offices with a more raw styling, but I think the term Industrial is a much more fitting.
Some offices are indeed old, busted factories that companies have moved into and renovated into productive work environments. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough actual old, abandoned factories to go around, so companies have had to improvise. Here are a few tips for those of you in this situation:
- Knock out that boring drop ceiling!
- Rip out that nasty 90's carpeting!
- Expose those lovely brick, wood, or metal wall elements!
- Trash the fluorescent lights and use cool industrial filament bulbs!
- Junk the motivational poster with an eagle and add graffiti!
One of the most interesting aspects of this trend is that is has been happening at the same time as a wider societal trend toward older styles that are more history-rich.
And while all of the offices below aren't made out of old factories, they've all incorporated some sort of wood, bricks or cement that I'm sure you'll love.
Industrial Style: Awesome or Overdone?