The New York headquarters of location-based social network Foursquare™ is filled with themed rooms based on the digital badges users earn from “checking-in” at different places using the service. Foursquare™ co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley and operations director Derek Stewart worked with interior designer Audra Canfield of EdgeQuarters to develop a concept for the interiors, intended to create a fun and relaxed working environment that matches the style of the website.
The team created a series of meeting rooms, each designed around a different badge from the Foursquare™ app. These badges are hung above the entrance to each room to help employees to find their way around.
The Swarm badge, which Foursquare™ users earn by visiting busy places, is designated to a room with a beehive theme. Tessellated yellow wallpaper lines one wall, while pendant lights resembling beehives are suspended over the conference table and a honeycomb-patterned clock hangs from the wall.
A nightclub-themed room is assigned to the Socialite badge, which users pick up by visiting one of several exclusive venues in New York and San Francisco. This room features flocked wallpaper, a cow-skin rug and a crystal chandelier.
Antique cameras fill the Photogenic room, based on the badge earned for visiting photo booths, while the Bookworm badge, for libraries, denotes an area with recycled magazine wallpaper and back-to-front books on its shelves.
The badge given for visits to vegetarian restaurants appears above the door of a meeting room containing a grassy floor and terrariums filled with plants and plastic animals. Meanwhile, the Vinyl room has records covering its walls.
Other spaces in the headquarters include a lounge, where the team have added a pair of phone boxes, a bar, and a general office with a simple monochrome color scheme.
“We felt a grey and white backdrop would allow the living color of the office to speak for itself and also balance the fun and maturity that Foursquare™ desired.”
We didn’t hesitate when we were asked to help design Foursquare’s™ Soho office in New York City. As a location-based social networking company, Foursquare™ ‘helps you and your friends make the most of where you are.’ The Foursquare™ team had decided that they wanted each conference room to have a unique theme based on their app’s check-in badges, e.g. Jetsetter for airport check-ins, Far Far Away for destinations above 59th St bridge in NYC, and Vinyl for record store check-ins. The badges hang outside the door of each conference room, creating a repetition of color and shape throughout the space.
Foursquare’s™ office dynamic is comprised of unconventional working areas, lounges, and a recreational room including shuffle board, foosball, and ping pong tables. Foursquare™ wanted some of the conference rooms to have the typical, long tables and others to have a more relaxing, sitting room style. With a tight budget and time frame, EdgeQuarters worked together with Foursquare™ owner, Dennis Crowley, to create both a fun and functional office space that reflects Foursquare’s unique aesthetic. It was important to Dennis that the office be vivacious and hip, but also sophisticated. Most importantly, he wanted it to feel relaxed. After all, most of the company’s employees are in their 20s and 30s.
For Dennis Crowley’s favorite conference room, Herbivore, we decided to use custom terrariums from the Brooklyn based company Twig. Each unique terrarium holds one or more small plastic herbivore animals and is arranged on floating reclaimed wood shelves. Black Eames® Eiffel Wood chairs are paired with a wood and iron table. House Pet carpet tiles in the Frog color from Flor® further reference the room’s concept. A greenhouse style pendant is suspended over the table.
Socialite, the check-in for nightclubs and bars, was a fun room to create because we could really go glam with it. Although our faux fur purple hide wallpaper didn’t make the cut, we were happy with the Flocked Damask and Foil wallcovering Dennis chose. We used a white cowhide rug, a purple velvet lounge chair, a crystal chandelier, and reflective furniture accents.
Photogenic is the badge for places with photo booths. For this room, we hung shallow, reclaimed shelves that displayed antique cameras mounted on a chalkboard painted wall. The back wall is to be covered with the Instagram photos taken by all the employees.
The Swarm badge is a bee motif. We found a great Osborne & Little wallpaper in a yellow/green, white and grey over-scaled pattern that referenced the beehive’s architecture without being too literal. The Nelson pendants also subtly reference the hive while adding class and sophistication as well as a feeling of playfulness.
Bookworm is our personal favorite. Since it is the check-in for libraries, we wanted to create a cozy corner office. One line of books is turned backwards, revealing the simple texture of the books’ pages, which evokes the diminishing time of ‘the book.’ Recycled magazine wallpaper from Pollack & Associates creates the backdrop, again subtly referencing pages, words, their meanings and textures. Mix-matched chairs, and a bench stacked with books, all in varying brown tones, help give this room an eclectic, lived in feeling.
Foursquare was an adventure in design and a great outlet for us as designers. Everyone at Foursquare was great to work with, and we were proud to be part of their team.
PARTNER | LEAD DESIGNER
New York City
■ June, 2014
■ Site Analysis
■ Interior Design