04 Aug 2020 • Work
Why designers took inspiration from the movie Her for this Beijing office space
Creating a workspace for the furniture-design brand Fnji, designer Xiaoxi Xiong and a team of collaborators aimed to ‘build up the connection between the space and the visitors’.
Top floor views, daylights and two storeys able to be constructed freely: these were the spatial advantages which decided furniture-design brand Fnji on an office space in Beijing. The brand entrusted designer Xiaoxi Xiong and team of collaborators to turn the site into a ‘distinctive’ workspace – Xiong explains that such spaces are becoming ‘rare now’, due to a tightening of urban planning policies in the Chinese city.
To thus excel in creating a unique interior, the brand and designers intently considered the goal atmosphere and user experience. That brainstorm led them to an unexpected point of inspiration: Spike Jonze’s 2013 movie Her, the cult tale of a writer who falls in love with his female AI-operating system. Specifically, they wanted the space to impart the ‘blurry and warm sense of future as if being embraced by the subtle and gentle husky whisper of the heroine’ as played by Scarlett Johansson. Xiong says the features of ‘warmth, cosiness and reliability’ were prioritized, with an aim to ‘build up the connection between the space and the visitors’.
Light grey walls and flooring largely define the 1,000-m2 interior's monochrome spread. The designers experimented with a special coating method to achieve the matte finish of these surfaces. Translucent film covers the ceilings, striking a balance between the warm artificial lights and blue-hued natural light. Windows are additionally decorated by translucent curtains, resulting in a soft space with purposefully blurred visual boundaries.
Furnishings and an installation constructed from rough natural stone add a sense of weight and geometry to the otherwise ethereal workspace. ‘This project was an experiment and attempt to explore more aesthetics possibility of the office space,’ continues Xiong, citing the importance of focusing on perception and interaction.
Read about more workspace interiors here.