It should come as no surprise that the office of Lego's product marketing and development division, where new editions and brand extensions of the iconic plastic blocks are designed, is fun. Known as Lego PMD, this creative department of the Danish company has a colorful, playful workspace in Billund, Denmark, that was recently designed (in 2010) by Rosan Bosch and Rune Fjord.
The office is filled with numerous details you'll find at hip technology, design, and even media firms today. It's an open space, with meeting rooms sheathed in glass, obviously to encourage transparency and collaboration. These are designed in bright hues, from pink to yellow to blue.
There's also a giant, cushy couch that dwarfs most adults and looks like it wraps around the office. And in one meeting space, there's even a nook that looks designed specifically to house a foosball table (that relic of the 1990s dot-com boom, a signifier of a "cool office space").
But it also includes a working tubular slide--and yes, it looks like it's playground grade--that takes workers from one floor to another, where they will land on a giant bulls' eye design. (Of course, Google has beaten Lego to the office slide. I can't help but wonder, could the slide be the new foosball table of the early 21st century?)
At Lego PMD, though, there are also built-in podiums for designers to show off their Lego creations and design prototypes during meetings or, presumably, any time an impromptu presentation during an "aha!" moment. It's a simple, yet thoughtful touch:
And a long kitchen/conference table has semi-circles cut out of its top, nudging designers and marketers to sit closer together, even if they are across from their colleagues. It seems like an excellent antidote to the ubiquitous long communal surfaces in offices these days, where dozens of people type away on laptops and mobile devices while plugged in to headphones (maybe even instant-messaging or texting one another), rather than physically engage with those around them:
It's clear to see the overwhelming influence of the office culture of tech companies such as Google on much older Lego--which was officially founded in 1932, and long a brand associated with "creativity" and "imagination." But given the bright colors and playroom-like atmosphere of the Googleplex and its offshoots, and those of its competitors in Silicon Valley and beyond, perhaps it's really the other way around.
Images: all photographs by Anders Sune Berg
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