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"How to Use Visual and Spatial Elements to Showcase Brand Identity in Office Spaces"

rat[LAB] Studio has been exploring the potential of computational design and technology in art and architecture in different ways over the years. In recent projects, this has been combined with principles of way-finding and branding to create a unique and cohesive design. The projects have used angles, curves, axes and strong colours to great effect.


When designing an office interior, branding and way-finding are both important elements that must work together to create a coherent story that reflects the identity and culture of the company. Way-finding is particularly important, and designers must analyse user journeys to create an archetypal experience that does not compromise function or brand identity.


The Vision IAS Head Office project used geometries and lighting to create subtle yet vibrant directional and identification features. Meanwhile, the design studio and Windborne Air CEO Office used artistic gestures to create a celebrative coherence between art, architecture and technology. This documentation aims to promote the use of these skills and ideas in office interiors, encouraging designers to craft meaningful spaces that respond to both function and identity through explicit elements.




The design team at rat[LAB] specializes in creating explicit environments through the use of geometries, colors, and lighting. They explore multiple levels of interpretation based on user group analysis before crafting the final design. Different offices have different ideologies and work cultures, but the use of geometries, colors, and lighting can create dynamic atmospheres that enhance the beauty and spirit of the space.

The head office of Vision IAS in New Delhi is a great example of this approach. As an institution that empowers future civil servants to learn and become responsible agents of democracy and law, the space needs to be a sanctuary of knowledge and inspiration. The office receives visitors, including dignitaries, academicians, and potential students, who expect a high standard of design.


The space is marked by varying angular planes that demarcate different areas in perspective. The colored angles on the ceiling, adorned by simple linear lights, direct visitors through the corridors. The floor features light and dark tones of grey tiling that complement the ceiling design. The walls are made of transparent glass and solid colors with bold labels and quotes. These design elements serve as memorable landmarks for frequent students, making it easy to navigate on a daily basis.



Although the Vision IAS head office may seem small, it requires careful zoning of different rooms to accommodate various user groups and ensure a high-quality function and ambience. The designers have used materials, geometries, accent colours, and lighting creatively throughout the interiors to achieve this.

Different colours have been used to represent diversity and add relative spatial and psychological hues to the spaces. The designers have strategically used bold accents of deep blue, energetic yellow, bold red, and calming green to create a dynamic and balanced environment. These colours not only infuse positivity but also represent the diversity of India, celebrating the fusion of different cultures and ideas, as well as optimism, ambition, and the drive to achieve greatness.

The manager's cabins feature calming ivory to create a sense of warmth and sophistication, exuding authority and elegance.







A sister station to the head office, Vision IAS at Allahabad shares similar layout and strategies but has its own identity of space with respect to spatial zoning and user preferences. Here too, the ceiling is creatively moulded together with lighting elements but in a curvilinear fashion to bring dynamism and directionality. Linear members run throughout the layout with varying depths and thicknesses, connecting all the spaces together in a dynamic wave of lines lit by embedded linear lights. 







As one reaches the classroom, tones of soothing green welcomes them at all levels. The darker green for the angular ceiling panes with linear lights lit up the destination, a bright green covers the walls and neutral shades express the furniture as subtle and functional in design. Keeping the brand identity, simple angular geometries and foliage are used creatively in varied zones. As a student navigates the space, they encounter seamless signage and branding elements at different nodes. 




The philosophy of rat[LAB] studio as an independent multidisciplinary research organization is physically manifest in the studio through the use of multiples strategies of design and execution of its own interior design. Beyond being an inspiring office space, the vision is to promote a professional, on-brand atmosphere that further stimulates a positive company culture for its employees and clients alike. Encompassing auxiliary layers of soundproofing, greenery and privacy has also been made possible by careful integration of technology. The fluid use of geometries —curvilinear and straight —together with brand colours and creative lighting evidently makes the limited space very spacious and lively.

Cantilevered onto the street, the façade stands out with its grey metal and corrugated texture illuminated by contrasting curves and lines. While large tinted windows lets in natural light while the parametric façade pattern in the background based on a series of horizontal lines reflects the studio’s ideology set in using innovative solutions using computational tools.

Connecting the exterior to the interior, linear lighting patterns flow throughout the layout wherein each node has explicit endpoints like information palettes, room identification and art pieces. Curvilinear drifts on the floor and ceilings are representative of the studio’s design language which also adds a sense of flow and ease within. Following a dynamic lighting and colour statement, the interior environment becomes a lively collaborative unit.




 A modern functional space, the interior utilizes ergonomic principles for comfort and flexibility within its adaptable workstations and collaborative spaces. The layout has four zones marked by ceiling and flooring patterns. The outer two zones are more open and dedicated to employees for work and discussion and the inner zone comprises of meeting rooms.

 

Beginning with a minimalistic approach, the products are sleek and functional rendering an uncluttered collaborative volume where the primary focus is dynamism and creativity. As the central axis leads one to the inner meeting rooms, a divider shelf brings more activity and functionality. Functional overhead storages and brand inspirational quotes at nodes keep the space creative and elegant.

 

 A veneer finish for the work tables is paralleled by the creative parametric table with stone finish for the discussion table. Solid tones of branding palette fill the furniture while simple geometric curves join the horizontal and vertical planes in a continual flow.







A live model to the notion of parametricism promoted by the studio is the design of the table as is the responsive nature of lights and lines in ceilings and floors. With a parametric curving top, the circular table has a smooth stone finish and carefully laid legs to support the weight. Positioned at the central axis of the entire plan, this art piece showcases the inherent creativity of the studio and brings an essence of inspiration for the employees. Similar strategies are used in the design of wall fitted and vertical shelves to generate a dynamic environment.

 

The two tables are products of variations of one design ideology developed using different possible geometries in grasshopper leading to different results. A play of solids and voids within curvilinear forms, one is crafted through additive printing technique while the other is subtracted from stone.




The executive office for Windborne CEO in New Delhi designed by rat[LAB] studio further explores the potential of computational design, technology and art for branding and way finding within classified interiors. The resourceful harmony between adventure and excellence bound within the trade of navigating open skies is delivered ultimate spotlight.

The brand colour orange is used as flooring directional while the ceiling is characterised by a parallel bright lit orange groove adorned by a computationally designed suspended artwork. The geometry of the artworks are inspired by the idea of flight and the bright copper balances brand colour and the luxury intended in the head office.






The inner core—a one-on-one meeting office—is reached by navigating an easy exciting path. Wavy curves like lines affected by wind direct the path in brand colour while installations in horizontal and vertical planes weave the identity and creative character of Windbourne culture.

As one enters the office and takes a seat in the waiting area, they are welcome by a minimalistic global map wall art. Using pointillism technique, the grand map hosts location references of various aviation landmarks across the globe. Folded planes made by CNC cut metal sheets mark flight accessible locations thereby implying the far reaching service potential of the company’s services. Starting from the entrance, the architect marks different scales and qualities of decision points within a small interior space to craft an inspiring, impressive clientele journey before finally meeting the person in charge.


Folded from CNC cut metal, a dynamic cluster of uniformly varying airplanes is suspended in the path of the visitor from the ceiling. With varying depths in spiralling trails, this fashion of folded planes, representative of airplanes, was achieved through Grasshopper scripting and Rhino modelling. A set of maximum seven planes were arranged linearly passing a metal string from its hole. CNC cut and folded after, they use minimum energy to generate a complex beautiful chandelier structure from simple geometric manipulation using arithmetic rules in coding and modelling.  A symbol of accuracy, these hanging planes meticulously placed with strings of varying depths and distances craft luxury and artistry into the entire space from above.





Contemporary and luxurious, the space is woven around the idea of navigation and connectivity with custom-made art and architectural elements made possible by cutting-edge technology. The keen floor to ceiling layout guides a visitor from the waiting area to the inner one-on-one meeting space in dandy flair. While furniture and fixtures are orderly and functional, they also align together to create directionality for the one implicit route. 

Passing through, the visitor on getting closer to the rear wall of the one-on-one meeting space is welcome by a static fitted wall art of two caving curves of folded planes that mark the end of the journey. Inspired from a crescent mood form, the four sizes of planes juxtapose with the movement of an airplane engine.

 

Each individual plane is folded at three creases to form the iconic shape of an airplane while the lustrous gold mirror finish renders an eye-catching warm golden glow like a chandelier to the installation. With computation and technology, art hereby becomes an unconventional language for design in an aviation office.




These projects are examples of commercial spaces that were recently designed and executed by rat[LAB] Studio & rat[LAB] DESIGN FAB's commercial interiors team. They showcase innovative design that is also cost-effective. This proves that good design doesn't have to be expensive for users, and can truly reflect a brand's persona in unique ways.


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