Questionable Design

The big overhaul of the Sydney office was a success, according to Stacey and Tania, who just spent most of that conference call rhapsodising about it. From what I can tell, the main attraction is the wall-to-wall mural that’s essentially a trompe l’oeil filing system. Beats me how that’s a good thing by any measure – aesthetic, functional or otherwise.

The only thing I can think of is that it works on a nostalgic level, given that paper-based filing is all but dead these days. Still, why not use the wall space for something useful, or at least fun? I’m not sure that purely nostalgia-fuelled novelty has much place in forward-looking office interior designs. Sydney businesses know that office layouts are about more than mere novelty. What it should really be focusing on, when it comes workspaces, is creating an environment that assists people to get their work done. That’s my two cents, anyway.

I guess I need to see this thing in person to really have an opinion on it. It just seems like, if said mural is the most noteworthy aspect of the reboot, then the design might not have a whole lot going for it in terms of actually being a good space to work in. But it does come down to what you’re looking for in an office fit out. Sydney workplaces might have different priorities, like being on top of the trend for early ‘00s stuff that seems to be going around.

Maybe I’m taking too clinical a view of this. I mean, if the mural in question somehow helps bond the millennial-dominated team together through shared recollection of their formative years, as represented by carefully labelled binders and A4 plastic sleeves, then there could be something to be said for it. Even a minimalist of the first order (like me) can appreciate the functional value of that effect.

If there’s one thing that being a design snob has taught me, it’s that it’s always worth being open to new ideas.