Liveperson Tokyo HQ
120m2 Office, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Koen Klinkers, Will Galloway, Daniel Yu, Evan Taylor
The core business of Liveperson is communication and connection over the internet. What they do is spatially invisible. And yet they are keen to work in a place that is obviously of Tokyo and Japan. For us it made the best sense to take inspiration from the crowded centers of the city like Shibuya crossing. At first blush it is a confusing place, but in reality the crossing is highly effective at communication, and ironically is a landmark for Tokyo-ites and visitors, used as a gathering place for meetings, often by those who have never been to the city before. A true contemporary space it is defined by people and activity rather than iconic objects.
Liveperson is an international tech company making its first steps into Japan. With growth built into its business model, one of the basic rules for design must be to manage change.
Our approach was to take a limited number of items, including desks, a wardrobe, a meeting table and a lounge, and invite the office staff to re-arrange and appropriate space as needed. Plants are an unexpected addition, ubiquitous in Tokyo, intended to be used as spatial dividers or to define areas for parties and meetings as the need comes up.
As a whole the office can be re-planned and reset to match functions in a very short time. Expansion and flexibility are accommodated by the removal of a fixed program from the design. In this sense the office is very much like Tokyo, a place that has a very specific character because it is built on a willingness to accept change, to empower people to act on their own, and to develop local character through negotiation as a group.