I think most kids in the 90s, specifically the guys, were absolutely obsessed with Pokémon. Collecting, exchanging, and even buying and selling Pokémon cards was a major trend, something that continues to be popular even today. In fact, some of the Pokémon cards from the 90s are the most expensive ones today, and collectors are always looking out for them! So, when Nendo was tasked with designing a huge new office space for Pokémon co-creator Creatures Inc., the design firm obviously took inspiration from the company’s iconic trading cards.
Nendo drew heavy inspiration from the ever-famous Pokémon cards and delicately interspersed them throughout the office space, resulting in a playful and intriguing workspace that is marked by thousands of steel trading cards. Located in the Tokyo headquarters of Creatures Inc., Nendo focused on creating an impressive entrance and meeting space for the office. The aim was to ensure that both elements were flexible, futuristic, and absolutely eye-catching.
“Since its release in October 1996, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has long been loved by fans worldwide. What makes the cards so special is that every piece is filled with creative ideas with a touch of emotional value. Thus, the interior design of the office naturally came to reference such vocabulary from the manufacturing process of the cards,” said Nendo.
Nendo steered clear of conventional office designs. It abandoned the concept of a traditional office with rectangular tables in rectangular rooms. Instead, the firm designed the space in different shapes and sizes. Curved walls were integrated into the space. “Furthermore, creating every table with an original organic form allows users to adjust the layout according to the meeting format or the number of participants,” explained Nendo.
Nendo agrees that the design process was rather complicated and complex. They created an abstract graphic pattern of a Pokémon Trading Card with accurate dimensions and then engraved it into a 2.3-mm (0.09-in)-thick sheet of steel utilizing a laser cutting machine. If you look closely at the office, you’ll notice hundreds or even thousands of cards being used to create it. Each card was carefully placed at one of twelve different angles, to regulate and control the light and views that enter the various meeting rooms and office spaces.