— Frame Magazine —

FormNation strives for work-life balance in Karma's New York City office

NEW YORK CITY – Seemingly reviving it’s New-Amsterdam roots, New York City welcomes a Dutch-meets-American office for Karma, designed by FormNation. Karma, a tech startup with Dutch influences, offers a pay-as-you-go Wi-Fi service in the US. For its office in Little Italy, the company looked to FormNation to fulfil the clear yet concise brief, which asked for 40 desks, ample break-out zones, a war room and a communal lunch area – all fitting the brand’s identity and all within four weeks.

Founded by Dutch designer Jan Habraken, FormNation avoided falling into the typical office-design trap (read: slides), and instead infused the space with its own spin on the European flatlands. The result blends minimalist Dutch design with American aesthetics and focuses on transparency, communication and work-life balance.

FormNation split the space into three distinct zones: work, meet and relax. In the work zone, windows are visible from each desk, while Delta lamps by Rich Brilliant Willing provide the rest of the necessary task lighting. The final touch is an oversized company logo in iconic Dutch orange, which calls to mind a typical American gas station.

For the meet area, FormNation extended the existing conference spaces to incorporate a central open war room for meetings and brainstorming sessions. Glass walls offer both transparency – a hallmark of contemporary offices – and blank canvases for scribbling down meeting notes.

The relax space brings the Dutch tradition of communal lunching to the Big Apple. After taking a seat at the long table for a shared meal, staff can retreat to the more relaxed setting of the break-out zone, complete with Moroso sofas and Anglepoise lamps.

Photos Garrett Rowland