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This Tech Office Is A Museum To The Founder's Vintage-Media Obsession

Braille Playboy, old Ebony magazines, and the world's worst video game make up the decor at Scrollmotion's Manhattan office.

  • <p>Scrollmotion founder and collector extraordinaire Josh Koppel</p>
  • <p>"We treat our office as a platform to meditate on the work that we do each day, building tools that transform paper into pixels," Koppel says.</p>
  • <p>"1980s handheld games remind us that UX is a high-stakes gamble when you can’t change the location of buttons," he says.</p>
  • <p>A typical wall in the office--covered in magazines and newspapers.</p>
  • <p>An old copy of <em>Ripley's Believe It Or Not! </em></p>
  • <p>Koppel's collection of <em>Mad</em> magazines--"where I learned most of what I know about design," he says.</p>
  • <p>"1970s <em>Time</em> magazines seem quaint, summing up the entire state of the world in a single paper issue," Koppel says.</p>
  • <p><em>Life</em> magazines</p>
  • <p>An Atari 2600. Yes, that's E.T. on the screen--widely derided as the biggest failure in video-game history.</p>
  • <p><em>Star Wars, the Phantom Menace</em>, the last video tape Koppel ever purchased.</p>
  • <p>"A braille Playboy is the ultimate example of platform not supporting content," Koppel says.</p>
  • <p>The pop-culture ephemera stretches from children's books and records to Pez dispensers and a<em>Clueless</em> poster.</p>
  • <p>More books and records</p>
  • <p>The<em> New York Times</em> edition that announced the sinking of the Titanic</p>
  • <p>An anatomical chart from the 1930s</p>
  • <p>"We believe that most of the problems we need to solve on iPads, have been solved before on paper," Koppelman says.</p>
  • <p>The role-playing games pictured here were among Koppel's most prized possessions as a teenager.</p>
  • <p>An homage to vintage space paraphernalia</p>
  • <p>Pulp fiction</p>
  • <p>"Mostly the office is a reminder of where we have been and the hope that we can be smart enough to make new mistakes in the future," Koppel says.</p>
  • 01 /20

    Scrollmotion founder and collector extraordinaire Josh Koppel

  • 02 /20

    "We treat our office as a platform to meditate on the work that we do each day, building tools that transform paper into pixels," Koppel says.

  • 03 /20

    "1980s handheld games remind us that UX is a high-stakes gamble when you can’t change the location of buttons," he says.

  • 04 /20

    A typical wall in the office--covered in magazines and newspapers.

  • 05 /20

    An old copy of Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

  • 06 /20

    Koppel's collection of Mad magazines--"where I learned most of what I know about design," he says.

  • 07 /20

    "1970s Time magazines seem quaint, summing up the entire state of the world in a single paper issue," Koppel says.

  • 08 /20

    Life magazines

  • 09 /20

    An Atari 2600. Yes, that's E.T. on the screen--widely derided as the biggest failure in video-game history.

  • 10 /20

    Star Wars, the Phantom Menace, the last video tape Koppel ever purchased.

  • 11 /20

    "A braille Playboy is the ultimate example of platform not supporting content," Koppel says.

  • 12 /20

    The pop-culture ephemera stretches from children's books and records to Pez dispensers and aClueless poster.

  • 13 /20

    More books and records

  • 14 /20

    The New York Times edition that announced the sinking of the Titanic

  • 15 /20

    An anatomical chart from the 1930s

  • 16 /20

    "We believe that most of the problems we need to solve on iPads, have been solved before on paper," Koppelman says.

  • 17 /20

    The role-playing games pictured here were among Koppel's most prized possessions as a teenager.

  • 18 /20

    An homage to vintage space paraphernalia

  • 19 /20

    Pulp fiction

  • 20 /20

    "Mostly the office is a reminder of where we have been and the hope that we can be smart enough to make new mistakes in the future," Koppel says.

Most people put up a few photos around their work space. Josh Koppel put up his whole life. "I have been hoarding — collecting since I was a little kid," he says. "At some point I had this realization that the stuff I loved was so much more enjoyable on a wall rather than hidden away in a box."

So Koppel covered the Manhattan office of Scrollmotion, the company he founded to develop apps for digital publishers, with an eclectic collection of media that could've been plucked from Josh Baskin's loft: bacon-flavored floss, a braille Playboy, a newspaper announcing the first man on the moon, an Atari 2600 (complete with a copy of the world's worst video game), and about 5,000 more artifacts.

Koppel sees the space as a series of "curated exhibitions," offering employees "ideas and lessons that can help us learn from the ghosts of platforms past." But like the ephemera that surrounds him, it too is a relic of a bygone era. At the end of the month, Scrollmotion will pack up and move several blocks north to an office that doesn't have walls to accommodate Koppel's vast collection. Fast Company staff photographer Celine Grouard captured the old office recently—before everything goes back in a box.

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