Universal Design Studio new office space

The architecture and interior design practice Universal Design Studio and the strategy-led industrial design firm Map have relocated to the third floor of a Clerkenwell block where they share an open-plan 1,020 square-metre space. While changing offices, the Universal Studio has designed a new interior both for their own as well as their sister company Map Project Office.

According to the studio principal Jason Holley as an architecture and interior design firm, the “studio is an integral part of our identity.” The aim when it comes to the design for the new space was for it to “be a reflection of who we are and an example of what we do best, to show that great design makes a difference.”

Both companies created offices in close collaboration as they have common areas to encourage conversation and communication. With the new space the companies intended to achieve a more modern concept rather than tradicional offices so it would be possible to give “transparent views into the studios working processes”, said Universal. Both companies needs meet in the middle as Map’s Director Will Howe believes Map has always been about “promoting and sharing ideas.”

Emphasising their open-plan common areas that allow teams to collaborate, make, test and create, the studio designed shared spaces such as project and meeting rooms, a reception area convertible into an exhibition space, two workshops including a new rapid prototyping facility, and a materials library. Besides that, there’s a large communal kitchen and an event space.

In this new space, the employees work at long communal desks punctuated with bespoke orange Double Tab desk lamps designed by Barber & Osgerby, for Flos, and pacific chairs created by the designers for Vitra in a range of colours. The storage cupboards, the partition dividers and further display cabinets throughout the interiors are finished in plywood. The communal kitchen cabinets are also fronted with plywood, with a wall of pale grey tiles behind.