The Moderns Rethinks Office Space for Greener, Happier Workers


Image via The Moderns slideshow

When their building's water tower burst in October 2009, The Moderns office space suffered an 8,000 gallon flood. They called it their own tsunami of change. They knew that while it was a huge hassle to build a new space, they'd received a great opportunity to completely re-do what they considered an office and try to integrate their green ideals into that new workspace. Janine James, President and Chief Creative Officer of The Moderns, presented their remodel to the attendees at this year's Compostmodern conference in San Francisco, CA. Check out what they've done to create a (nearly) utopian work environment.

The Moderns greener space includes such features as:


  • body movement classes to spark creativity and connect as a group

  • added holidays including "Metamorphosis Day" to stay inspired

  • prepared lunches for the staff from the local farmers' market

  • water containers and glass water bottles for every staff member

  • a specially designed air purifier

  • all-natural cleaning products

  • participation in food activist group Food Justice

  • compostable materials in the office space and in design

  • natural lighting, and lots of it

  • Zip Car memberships and Prius rentals when traveling (none of the staff members owns a car)

  • a dog- and kid-friendly office

From The Moderns:

"For twenty years, Janine and The Moderns have been thought leaders in the realms of environmental, social, and economic innovation. As each of these movements evolved, we helped our clients understand that while PR and ad campaigns have their place in promoting environmental, social, and economic causes, the only way to truly evolve their brand cultures to changing realities is through innovation.

In short, competing in this rapidly changing world requires new ways of thinking--new ideas that lead to completely different ways of valuing, organizing, and measuring our work. This is why it is our firm belief that paradigm-shifting innovation is the most important ingredient to success in the new knowledge economy."

The way that The Moderns has redesigned their new office space solidifies their belief in just such new ways of thinking and living out their values in their work. The paradigm-shifting innovation they subscribe to is acted out in their beautiful office space. It helps them to lead a happier, greener life, and no doubt that continues to be reflected in the work they do for their clients.

While Janine still sites a few problems with the design, such as the dirty dishes that can pile up since they don't allow disposable cutlery or the fact that they forgot to factor in space for storing their commuter bikes, they've done an incredible job at using greener design principles to create a beautiful space.

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Tags: Architecture | Designers | Environmental Footprint

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