A Japanese office may have just reinvented glass itself
Tokyo – The office of the future is binary – in Tokyo, employees work in digital environments built from binary code while sitting in physical environments surrounded by binary graphics. Aptly named as the IoT Center, design office Nendo proposes code as iconography: glass partition walls rippled in lines of 0s and 1s work both cosmetically and spatially, dappling shadows onto the interior’s blonde parquet.
Nendo has its eye set on the future of the workplace. As such, the IoT Center includes three galleries and a lounge area ‘to showcase new digital technologies’, says a Nendo spokesperson, in addition to offering traditional office features such as meeting rooms and workspaces. As office employees continue to live lives more digital than physical, binary code becomes a universal language; the new form of linguistic prowess is numerical. Working symbolically, Nendo has made these numerical graphics the centrepiece of its bespoke partitions.
Nendo uses a total of six layers in its partition design. The first – heat-treated exterior layers made of laminated glass – provide tensile strength. When spread on stainless-steel moulds of numerical reliefs, the heated glass dimples accordingly. The production of the sheets in sets of two thicknesses – 6 mm and 8 mm, respectively – simultaneously increases installation precision and decreases the occurrence of air pockets. The second component in Nendo’s design is its interior-film system. Four layers of film sandwiched between the exterior glazed partitions produce a sense of visual depth, complementing the distortion achieved by the exterior glazing.
The visual effect of the binary code is mesmerizing, reaching further and further into the distance as it reproduces its seriality, catching itself only in the occasional mirror. The IoT Center captures the spirit of code aptly – from its iconographic approach to the cosmetic, to its self-duplicating mirrored hallways and herringbone-patterned flooring. Nendo has managed to produce a sense of the infinite, indoors.