From IKEA to Superlofts and Underdog
Why is IKEA so popular? Users from all over the world fall in love with the idea that they can design their own house with simple, functional and rather cheap furnitures which can be placed anywhere they want. According to The Economist, “thrift is the core of IKEA's corporate culture.” The company aims to help people with limited means to furnish and decorate their house with accessible and affordable resources, and encourage them to be creative and personal with their own designs.
Such corporate ideal should not be limited to furniture placement in a home-setting. At Underdog, we regard this kind of customer-oriented design approach as the future of architecture. On December 1, 2016, our Sales- and Creative Director Kenneth Malev was invited on behalf of Underdog by MKA, a Dutch developer for revolutionary urban living, to Superlaunch, a conference on the Superlofts conceptual housing project in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He greatly resonated with the presentation at the event for they have a similar mission as Underdog, delivering designs that are unique, creative and well-tailored to the need of the clients.
Delivering client-oriented design in consideration of Triple Constraint
The concept of Superlofts alters the traditional way of designing housing for people, for it involves the customers’ interests for the structures and amenities of the building and its surrounding from the very beginning – even before the construction has started. Structure wise, the whole building is divided into 5 types of lofts, ranging from 35 to 195 square meters. There is no interior load-bearing wall inside each loft, so homeowners can plan out spaces as they want. A open floor plan is given for the users to expand upon its flexibility. The house thus requires shorter construction time, lower construction cost, larger usable spaces and it is altogether a more-user-friendly, higher-quality and more energy-efficient building. We see great potential in this kind of housing concept. In today’s society where individuality and a community of diverse identities are highly valued, it is important that we involve our clients, the space owners and users in the design process in order to fulfill their needs of the space.
Christine Lin – http://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-lin-a66a7841/
Superlofts – http://superlofts.co/
Our approach to Scandinavian design
Picture a Scandinavian design in your mind. You will probably think of elements such as clean lines, bright color tones, organic materials, and unpretentious but well-working components. Indeed, fostered by the post-war period when life was austere and resources were inadequate, Scandinavian designers back then developed a minimalist style which aimed to achieve high quality and durability by using the least material, and their philosophy continues until today.
At Underdog, we also try to uphold the value of Scandinavian design while being a bit “playful” with it from the perspective of a local Danish architecture studio. We aim to deliver simple and functional design based on the identities of our clients. Through these creative and custom-made designs, we provide the most unique and well-tailored products and experience to our clients and users of the space.
Collective team effort
On top of maintaining the traditional ideals of Scandinavian design, we are adventurous in incorporating elements of designs which are out of the ordinary but still live up to the users’ expectation and fulfill the space’s functionality. Therefore, we hope to inspire creativity from all of our crew and obtain collective effort, especially from our clients at the beginning of the design stage.
At the Grand Opening of the NOR:, Mikael Kyneb, owner of the center, thanked Underdog Studio for completing the new look of the center and planning every square meter of the space right according to his and his clients’ needs. He was glad that he and his team could also participate in the design process, contribute their ideas and actually realize their vision in the end. To him, the completion of the site was surely a reflection of the center’s philosophy and a dream come true.
Christine Lin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-lin-a66a7841/
Designing the ideal work space
Clicking on the list of the 10 Coolest Office Spaces compiled by Forbes, you can see names like Google, Pixar, Facebook and etc. topping the chart every year. It is not coincidental that these companies with the most sought-after and creative office designs are always those which require smart, creative and in-demand workers, since the design of the office always reflects the work culture of the company.
At Underdog, we also have a similar ideal of what the future work space should be: it is not about the desks and the chairs, but the workers. Only when the workers enjoy going to the office and being there will they be productive at work and be creative in their thinking process. The design of the office should reflect the flexibility and freedom of the worker enjoyed. An ideal work space should enrich creativity, interaction and workers’ experience.
Maximizing the full potential of space
Underdog’s latest project with IO Interactive represents our ideal of designing for the future work space by maximizing the potentiality of space. We do not design a place that is completely constant and static, but fluid and fun. By creating more opportunity to use the space in different time and spatial dimensions, we multiply the potentiality of the space to a whole new level.
the potential of a space by making it usable at all times. People can flow around the area and be spread out into different spaces so the space is less crowded and static.
conference, but they can also freely sit on the stairs at any given time. The moveable color blocks and sitting cushions on the stairs not only add a touch of coziness and relaxation to the place, but they also unleash the possibility for the workers to create their own, unique arrangements according to their needs. The constantly changing outlook gives the company a sense of personality and adds some fun and energetic vibes to the working environment.
Displaying our philosophy to the customers
Nevertheless, our philosophy of an ideal working space can sometimes be hard to be grasped by some of our clients. Traditional business partners may still think that designing office space is just about putting desks and chairs into place. It is common for many business owners rather show off their company’s power by displaying designer’s chairs in their grandiose office rooms.
Therefore, to better display our design to the customers, we make use Autodesk Revit to visualize the project in a 3-dimensional view from the project outline stage. We hope to convey a message that interior architecture is not just some technical drawings on plain pieces of paper, and the office space is not just a simple placement of furnitures from Office Depot. Even though the 3-D realization is just a simple presentation of the actual spatial planning, we still hope that it serves as a good means to showcase our design and our philosophy to the clients in a clearer and more intuitive perspective.
The 3-D illustration of the project and more pictures from the sites will be posted on our website and social media platforms when the whole project is done. Please stay tuned to our updates in the near future!
Christine Lin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-lin-a66a7841/