Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Google Offices in Athens

So Google opened an office in Athens.
Is it good? I am not all that happy with foreign magnates coming in Greece. It means they have something in their plans for us, and I am not sure their plans are good, no, not so far.
Anyway. What interests me in this post is the way a global company and the architects it chooses incorporates in its design the trends we see in blogs all over the web.
Is it avant-garde or is it passe?
The offices do look modern and different.
It is obvious that the company embraces the conclusion of researches stating that peple are more productive if they finf themselves in a homey environment, where they are made to believe they are at home, and they can relax or play for a while if they want, then get back to their cubicles.
On the other hand, having been involved with a company who uses such design, I do feel that thw company;s interest is rather phoney. Yes, companies want you to keep longer hours that you should, they want to suck the last drop of your imagination and energy and they want you to do it all right there, under their eyes, under their control.

As for the design as such.
In my opinion the architects do read quite a few major design blogs. Their paletts-as-furniture idea and the vegetable crates as shelving idea are well documented internet wise (including in this blog). Tolix stools have been everywhere on the net for the past four years. And so have blackboards, knit pouffe and hanging colour lights. All in all, the designers are selling staff the idea of belonging to a global avant guarde community, that is, if you are ignorant enough not to know better.
There certainly is an olde Athens atmosphere, to add some couleur local, and please visiting managers and staff, the old registering as a contrast with the company's new age profile. There are also old film posters to account for culture, and traditional kiosques that are actually phone booths.
Good try, if not phoney, Google guys.

All images:Studio Paterakis

First seen here. Images via here.

love, Irene

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