101 W. Broadway houses over 40% of San Diego’s tech startups, and is home to the new headquarters of its largest tenant, MindTouch, a growing software-as-a-service company that is creating a new category of customer engagement software. Bridging a fractured community that was the San Diego tech scene, MindTouch is the poster child for Irvine’s new Vertical Campus.
Showcasing both the importance of the Vertical Campus and the playful but driven culture MindTouch was determined to experience in their new global headquarters, the design interrogates the millennial team members and empathizes with the Buddhist corporate vision of Satori, to imagine the workplace environment as a reflection of a work culture that is focused on celebrating our tribal nature, through the pursuit of ultimate enlightenment. Now, MindTouch serves as both as a hub of tech innovation for the local community, hosting regular programmer competitions, start-up weekends, of course, the day-to-day social experience that is MindTouch HQ.
IMPORTANT DESIGN DETAILS
- The massive 14’ samurais standing guard, hand carved in a traditional plaster for a subtle etched steel effect, are absolutely the centerpiece of the design. We wanted to showcase the corporate vision in a way that was a nod to the nerdy-tech idealism so prominent in the MindTouch culture – here is your child like super hero come to life! They are presented large and full of strength and character just like the MindTouch Vision; Satori -a Buddhist tradition of seeking one’s true nature.
- The Alternate Work Environment itself is also quite impactful. Fully flexible, and with ample seating arrangements to chose from, the variety in which to collaborate not only reflects the culture but promotes it. The tribal design of the space fits modern millennial work habits without losing business requirements, taking the remote, from-home-worker and putting them in an office they feel comfortable. The space is so innovative yet welcoming (for SD office life) that it attracts a lot of events, providing more visibility for recruitment and customer acquisition, serving as an extension to the marketing department itself.
- The custom wall treatment at the Elevator Lobby is also a super unique design element. The origami instructions serve to illustrate and encourage the transformation team members take when working at MindTouch, moving through the corporate Values step by step (Grit, Honor, Shoshin, Zanshin, Arete) towards ultimate enlightenment. There is no mastery, only the pursuit thereof.
- The window film was also a simple but effective design element. The hex explosions and logos create a play on the line of site and incorporate a simple shape that was previously a disjointed piece of the initial finishes, now creating rhythm and harmony throughout, as well as bringing the unique footprint polygon shape full circle.
With changes in work places now allowing for a personalized approach, the design fully interrogates the space and the client, empathizes with who they are and who they aspire to be, then finally imagines a physical representation of the MindTouch identity, ultimately making every choice of the new design to celebrate the people who form that culture.