Award: People's Choice (Shortlist)
Category: Commercial Business
Project: Microsoft Corporation, Mumbai
Country of Design: India
The Microsoft workplace interior design guidelines have evolved, indicating a need for innovative workspaces that draw on residential and hospitality design. Microsoft wanted an environment that fosters creativity and innovation. Their pre-requisites also included spaces that offer easy connectivity between customer zones and employee areas, plus an overall clutter-free environment with dedicated storage-spaces and acoustic privacy in the focus desk areas and collaboration zones. Our challenge was to bring together quality materials and products within the set timeframe, and to create a space that felt consistent and that fostered creativity in every corner.
To achieve our design vision, we created an open-plan space that maximized natural lighting, while providing variety when it came to space setting - from workstations to touch-down desks, from focus workpods and phone booths to various type of meeting and focus rooms. We chose a design that represents the finest forms existing above and below the waterline, in order to create a warm space that has a home-like feel. The walls and ceiling are inspired by coral reefs, and we tailor-made ceramics inspired by oceanic-flora. As a result, every feature evokes a sense of serene oceanic bliss. We used art and sculptures as a way of stimulating conversation and new ideas!
Microsoft's Mumbai office was one of a series of Microsoft offices developed around the idea of WPA (Work-Place-Advantage) in India. Microsoft changed its workplace guidelines to move away from corporate office space towards environments that feel more like homes and hotels.
Microsoft's Mumbai office derives its inspiration from oceanic forms. The ocean offers access to new lands and newer discoveries; progress being the backbone of all its activity. At the core of all digital business are innovation and a standing need for newer directions, strategies and ideas, and these are imperative to Microsoft as a business. DSP Design paved the way for Microsoft Mumbai to transition to a self-stimulating environment that fosters innovation, problem solving, creativity and progress. We did this by weaving together themes of the oceans and of course the city of Mumbai.
Oceanic forms come through in design elements, planned recreation and breakout zones, well-dispersed collaborative spaces, conference and board rooms, a town hall zone, cafes, open workspaces and internal connecting spaces.
We designed the project with sustainability in mind, taking into consideration factors such as improved indoor air quality and RO-purified/treated drinking water. We also incorporated LED lighting, energy metering, daylight harvesting and motion sensors, ergonomic seating and washrooms for the disabled. In addition, all water fixtures come with low water consumption features, and we included fire evacuation maps, exit signage, fire extinguishers, signage in braille, low-VOC paint and materials with green certification… and much more.
We have been able to successfully implement a new design language for the Microsoft Mumbai office. It now has a narrative about empowerment, productivity and sustainability, bringing into being a new kind of place making. It's a living office! We created an office with a distinctive personality that is inspiring, and very unique to Microsoft. This workspace showcases how office design identity can change, and how we are moving away from cold, predictable corporate environments to warm, welcoming, homey, social, natural and comfortable spaces.
Voting ends on 20th March 2018, Tuesday 2359 (GMT+8).