advertisement
advertisement
  • 05.26.10

Inside Twitter’s Expanded SF Offices: Birds, More Birds. Also, Birds

Twitter unveils its expanded bird-themed headquarters. It’s downright Hitchcock-ian.

Inside Twitter’s Expanded SF Offices: Birds, More Birds. Also, Birds
Twitter HQ

LastNovember, Twitter fetched up at generous new headquarters in SanFrancisco’s SOMA district. Just six months later, the socialnetworking site has annexed more space. Next up: Twitter takes over @world?

advertisement

Let’shope not, at least not for design’s sake. The decor’s pretty basichere; it looks like it was whipped off in a few days, which consideringthat the company expanded from about 50 employees to more than 200 in halfa year, it probably was.

The eye behind both spaces is SanFrancisco designer Sara Morishige. Shealso happens to be married to Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

So the place is lousy with bird graphics. Birds. Twitter. Tweet, tweet. Get it? “The bird decals were custom; traced from a photo I tookwhile visiting @ev’s dad,” Morishige says of the original source, @ev,of course, being Williams.

advertisement

It’sa cute idea if used sparingly, but man, they just knock you over thehead with this stuff. They’ve even got birds embedded in the conferencetable. It’s almost Hitchcockian.

Morishige collaborated with 3 Fish Studios on some of the art work.

advertisement

MoreTwitter-themed art. Do you really want to be reminded of where you workall the time? Maybe Twitter employees do. It’s one of those officesthat has a bunch of “lifestyle” features to pander to its cool-kid staff. Fifteenyears ago, that meant beanbags and pool tables. Today, it’s yoga roomsand vegan food. Twitter hq, naturally, has both. That’s the cafe below.

The nicesttouches come from Lundberg Design, which fabricated a lot ofthe woodwork. Those are manzanita tree branches suspended over areception desk.

advertisement

But then they have really boring, under-designed areas like this.

Companiesare always using glossy new offices to pound their chests about their brilliance or creativity orwhatever. Consider Facebook’s headquarters,which fairly drip with ambition — every incandescent bulb meticulouslyplanted, every Eames Molded Plastic Rocker perfectly arranged. Twitter,on the other hand, seems unsure about the story it wants to tell. Is it whimsical or serious? Powerful or scrappy? Here’s to hopingthey have a clearer vision for the service itself.

advertisement

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

More

Video