Let’s face it, when we’re in the office 40+ hours a week, the way an office is designed inherently impacts our health, well-being, and work product.
ThoughtWorks San Francisco was thrilled when Fennie+Mehl won two awards from the International Interior Design Association for the design of our new office. The International Interior Design Association is an international organization that looks to advocate for advancements in education, design, leadership, and community through the understanding of interior design and how it impacts the workplace.
From sustainability, to historic renovation, to community engagement, the GIVE award honors social responsibility projects that improve the physical space’s impact on society. The People’s Choice Award is chosen by the general public through online voting.
When we set out to design the office, we created a vision that brought together our employees, clients, and community members in a space that was uniquely ThoughtWorks. What that translated into was honoring the individual, emphasizing the need for openness and transparency, and creating a gathering hub for creative, cultural, and social exchange.
As a consultancy in the heart of the Bay Area, we knew that we wanted our work culture to come through in the design of our office.
ThoughtWorks values transparency and openness–we don’t like hiding behind closed doors. With sensitive client information in mind, we looked to foster an environment that is open. As soon as you step foot into the office, you see glass meeting rooms, the large gathering space, our beautiful communal table, and our bustling kitchen.
ThoughtWorker workstations are visible, no hierarchy here, and stickies are posted wherever there is wall space. The office is alive with creativity, collaboration, and transparency allowing anyone to inquire, “Hey, what are you up to?”
The central gathering space has served many purposes: we’ve hosted workshops, meetups, internal all-hands meetings, art gallery openings, and even concerts. By designing an incredibly flexible space, we have successfully brought together people of various backgrounds to talk about race, class, Ruby, typography, and more.
A central component to our gathering space is OMI Gallery, a rotating public art gallery we developed with Impact Hub Oakland. It provides a safe space to have conversations that people are nervous about having elsewhere. Each quarterly exhibit features a local Bay Area artist and relevant social justice themes on issues we face locally, nationally, and/or globally. We hold art receptions, artist talks, and other events related to that particular gallery theme. Our social and economic justice working group also works with Impact Hub Oakland to mobilize passionate people and partner with them to make a difference.
The ThoughtWorks San Francisco office continues to grow where we feel empowered to drive positive change. ThoughtWorkers regularly come together in the kitchen to enjoy lunch, play board games, or connect. Clients have come for meetings, drinks, and inceptions. Our partnerships have blossomed, connecting with organizations that strive to provide tools and solutions to communities that need it most.
To Fennie + Mehl, thank you. Together, we’ve created a space that truly feels like home.