Co.Design

Lego Office Is As Much Fun As Playing With Legos

We want a slide in our office, too!

The aggressive playfulness that characterizes a lot of office spaces nowadays, from Facebook to Google, has always struck us as vaguely infantilizing and, above all, misguided: Your IT guys don’t need a beach-themed break room, they need a quiet place to work so they can fix your damned computer. But here’s one company where a fun environment makes complete sense and, in fact, it’d be counterproductive any other way: Lego.

These are folks who play for a living, after all. (Lucky jerks.) So for Lego PMD in Billund, Denmark—where the toy giant develops new products—Danish designers Rosan Bosch and Rune Fjord created a 21,500-square-foot big-kid funhouse. There’s an aerial walkway covered in blue padding to resemble a puffy cloud. There are cartoonishly oversized wall graphics, including one of the Lego man, and lush bonsai gardens built into the tables. There’s even a slide. (For getting to meetings faster?)

The idea is to evoke in employees the same sense of wonder that illuminates childhood, the better for understanding their pint-sized customers (and, in turn, designing for them). "Where does work stop and imagination start?" the designers say. "Through the physical design, the children’s fantasy worlds become part of the everyday, creating the setting for the creation of new design for new games and play."

And it’s not like Lego PMD is all play and no work. The office has a mix of collaborative spaces (open meeting rooms, show-and-tell podiums) and private rooms (individual offices, enclosed meeting rooms, a "Fun Zone" where Lego’s tiniest employees test new models) to support the different stages of product development. Because in the end, creating fun is serious business.

[Images courtesy of Rosan Bosch; h/t to Dezeen]

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21 Comments

  • GBA

    Actually, the English (from that country) say Lego for the plural. They play with Lego. It's Americans (who happen to speak English, kinda) who say Legos.
    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to eat my plate of pastas.

  • jbelkin

    Clearly in ENGLISH, it's easier and more logical to say Legos as plural of one lego. Language is decided by the people not companies - as PEOPLE, we are not required to add an ®. We can say Coke and not have to say Coca Cola - what do we care what the company wants, it should sound natural. As with Coca Cola,. if WE use it often enough, they will eventually give in and buy the World a Coke or sell us LEGOS. It shoudl also be pointed the patent on the brick design has expired which obviously the trademark hasn't but people understand what you mean when you say LEGOS. It is not even a "real" word so if we want to add an S to it so we don't sound like we don't know whow to speak English, that's OUR CHOICE. Perhaps in Danish, it's un-natural but then I am not in the offices of LEGO ... I woudl also extend the courtesy of not speaking the words MEGA BLOKS or PLAYMOBIL but outside f their office, it's legos if I'm refering to more than one brick. Lego refers to the company and ONE brick. 

  • Guest

    They actually also have bowls of LEGO bricks in all their meeting rooms, which people can play with during meetings, and when you walk through their offices you will find LEGO figures and boxes everywhere :)

  • Darran Lee

    There is NO Legos, Just LEGO..... Like their are NO Fishes, Just FISH, and NO Sheeps, Just SHEEP. BTW Lego would do well to interview me for the design job .They have no idea how clever they could be with me on board.

  • garymporter

    If I may put an end to this nonsense, 'Lego' is a registered trademark, protected by law, and as such must always be correctly spelled as 'Lego' and immediately followed by a generic term which describes the product. 'Lego(R) bricks is the manufacturer's preferred term. Otherwise the maker is in danger of losing control of the brand name. 

    The most egregious example of trademark infringement is Xerox, which many people use as a verb.  'Google it' is, if used for promotional purposes, technically illegal. Coke is another example, thus the famous SNL Pepsi, no Coke, running gag. 

    Darren:

    • 'Lego' is not a 'they.' It is a company, an 'it,' singular.
    • 'Fishes' is indeed a collective noun used in reference to more than one species, as in 'all the fishes in the sea.'
    • Neither 'fish' nor 'sheep' carry an initial cap as used here. 
    • 'Their' is a plural pronoun. 'They're,' the contraction of 'they are,' would be the correct syntactical tactic. 

       

  • Uncle He-man

    Aaaaaaaaagh America! "Lego" is the plural of Lego.

    It's a brand name, like Nutella. You wouldn't say "I had three slices of toast with nutellas" would you?

  • Jjgriesbaum

    Nonsense, the plural of lego is obviously legae. Lego is latin for cool stuff.

  • Jeremy Loveday

    i would. people have used LEGOs for so long, we use it as a noun, referring to the bricks themselves, not the company. kinda like how we say we're going to 'google' something, by using 'google' as a verb.

  • garymporter

    I love it. It's breathing. The hairline rule under the links is genius. I must know what the body copy typeface is--searching, searching. 

  • garymporter

    Duh. Lucida Grande, which is what I already use for my emails. Oh brother. 

  • garymporter

    P.S. To those complaining about the ghosted thumbnail images...I can see them just fine, and if I want to see more I hover and/or click. 

    This is called user-friendly design; and it goes a long way toward making the site more readable and less cluttered. 

  • Mugsy

    I agree with joebloe and nnewton. The redesign is not working at all. The images don't scroll smoothly, half the time the right side click is not working, and every other image is an ad. Terrible. I used to love reading the articles, now I just delete your emails.

  • Joebloe

    I agree with Nnewton on the redesign.  Not a smooth interaction at all.  Love your content, but this a discouragement for returning.

  • Manu

    A captcha is a nice idea. Ther's spam in evry single post. And the new gallery dosen't work in chrome (or dosent't work for me in chrome 18 dev). Anyway the article is nice and the plural of lego is lego :)

  • Nnewton

    Boy! I am really not loving your redesign. The gallery of photos for what would have been a photo spread in a print magazine is buried in a 50% washed out bar of thumbnails, the scroll for which only appears when you mouse over. There's no indication that you need to click on a thumbnail to launch the gallery and when you do, you lose the context of the story and there are no captions to inform. I believe your intent with the redesign was to embrace principles of print magazine design in the digital presentation, but guys, this is lame!

  • GBA

    Plural of Lego? Lego.
    You play with Lego. A piece of Lego is referred to as 'a piece of Lego'. You can call it something else only when you step on it in the dark, at 3 in the morning, in bare feet.

  • Neeli71


    The usage was not in plural... "Lego’s tiniest employees"
    Its referred to as possessive form of the noun I think

  • Phill Clegg

    you maybe need a CAPTCHA code on your comments bit =p, it was an nice article, would love to work in that type of environment!  

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