I think most kids in the 90’s, especially the boys, were absolutely obsessed with Pokemon. Collecting, trading, and even buying and selling Pokémon cards was a huge trend that’s still popular today. In fact, some of the Pokémon cards from the ’90s are the most expensive today, and collectors are always on the lookout for them! When Nendo was commissioned to design a massive new office space for Pokémon co-creators Creatures Inc., the design firm obviously took inspiration from the company’s iconic trading cards.
Nendo took strong inspiration from the well-known Pokémon cards and delicately distributed them throughout the office space, resulting in a playful and intriguing workspace characterized by thousands of steel trading cards. Located at Creatures Inc.’s Tokyo headquarters, Nendo focused on creating an impressive entrance and meeting space for the office. Both elements should be flexible, futuristic and absolutely eye-catching.
“Since its release in October 1996, the Pokémon Trading Card Game has been loved by fans around the world. What’s special about the cards is that each piece is packed with creative ideas with a touch of emotional value. So the interior design of the office naturally referred to this vocabulary from the card-making process,” Nendo said.
Nendo distanced itself from conventional office designs. It abandoned the concept of a traditional office with rectangular desks in rectangular rooms. Instead, the company designed the space in different shapes and sizes. Curved walls were integrated into the space. “In addition, creating each table with an original organic shape allows users to adapt the layout to the meeting format or the number of participants,” explains Nendo.
Nendo agrees that the design process was quite complicated and complex. They created an abstract graphic pattern of a Pokémon trading card with precise dimensions, then engraved it into a 2.3 mm (0.09 inch) thick sheet of steel using a laser cutting machine. If you look closely at the office, you’ll see that hundreds or even thousands of cards are used to create it. Each card has been carefully placed at one of twelve different angles to regulate and control the light and views entering the various meeting rooms and office spaces.