April 21, 2020

Biology Inspires Unbot China’s Office by Prism Design

At Unbot China’s Shanghai office by Prism Design, the entry features a world-map mosaic. Photography by Katsumi Hirabayashi.

Open-plan digital startup offices staffed with Gen Y- and Z-ers are practically commonplace these days. How to differentiate? Such was the challenge posed to Prism Design by client Unbot China, an online marketer, for its relocated Shanghai workplace. The reason for the move to a larger, 20,000-square-foot site was to improve operational efficiency and organizational strength by hiring more employees. Maintaining communication between teams as well as the convenience and health of each worker were paramount. So Prism founder Tomohiro Katsuki responded with a concept he calls “mitochondria and chloroplasts” in regard to the two-story project’s zoning, structure, and identity, essentially creating a space that facilitates metaphorical “respiration and photosynthesis.” These were achieved via rounded forms, hot desking, a sunny yellow palette, and generous mailroom that also accommodates lunch deliveries—likely ordered through Ele.me, Shanghai’s Seamless equivalent.

OSB tops the address-free workstations. Photography by Katsumi Hirabayashi.
PVC flooring in the main corridor. Photography by Katsumi Hirabayashi.
The mail and food-delivery room. Photography by Katsumi Hirabayashi.

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