Workspace of the Week - Glu Mobile, San Francisco
With a phrase like “at Glu, Work is Play” on the homepage, you can expect Glu Mobile’s interior design to be fun, youthful, and have a strong focus on creativity.
Glu Mobile develops and publishes games for smart technologies such as phones and tablets. Fennie+Mehl architects were asked to come round and play – and with a 47,000 square foot studio to design, the firm began with a blue-lit portal that takes you straight in to another universe. The mix of bright colours and light immediately invigorates the senses, which is exactly what Glu Mobile’s products do.
In Pac-Man, if you get eaten by a ghost you go back to the beginning and start again. The interior walls have been designed the same way: write, draw, think and doodle on them, and if something goes wrong then simply wipe it off and start again. This creative freedom throughout the office encourages employees to collaborate wherever they are.
Games were originally intended for children, yet a Forbes article states that the gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, so clearly this is not made up of 5 year olds. A 2014 study by the Entertainment Software Association found that the average gamer is 31 years old. The interior design therefore needed to reflect the ‘big kids’, which is why you’ll find plenty of agile workspace, Railway Carriage style booths, and a yoga room to relax.
Putting the fun in functional, the lights resemble carnival lights, dotted throughout the office to ensure maximum wellness for employees.
Even in the stairwell, Glu Mobile’s signature logo blue could have made the area dark and dreary, yet the hanging white lights promote a stimulating visual aesthetic; almost like white thought bubbles leading to the next big idea.
Of course, there is also a games room. Uncluttered, allowing full focus to be on playing the game, the room captures the very essence of what Glu Mobile is all about.