Today was a good day. We took a trip on a bus. Great, right? But wait, there’s more. We took a trip on a bus to Orangebox HQ, for a guided tour. Brilliant.
The tour was split into several groups and then taken around various parts of the building. Firstly, wow! From the innocuous facade, I was not expecting what was inside. From the fantastic, contemporary upper office space – and space is right word as it is both vast and open plan – to the factory building, fabrication department and deliveries; to everything in between. Let me break it down for you, dear reader.
To call this space an office would do it an injustice. I have worked in many offices in my time – open plan, chicken coup, rickety – but nothing I have been in was like this space. Various different types of surfaces, colours and materials; lots of different pockets to work from, sound proof booths, high desks, sofas and many more. There seemed to be spaces to suit all working types. It was light and airy, full of colour and seemed to be a nice place to work. The only thing I noticed that appeared a little odd? The were no phones ringing and it seemed very quiet. Is this normal or were they on their best behaviour for us? No sure. There weren’t many people present, so perhaps this was it? Or were they in pockets of the office we couldn’t see!
Development, Hell Yeah
There were large sections of the building dedicated to the development of ideas, both around a (prototype) table and in a workshop. Ideas are worked through, built and tested in house and then developed so more. It seemed to present the opportunity to rapid prototype products, or bespoke items, without needed to go offsite. Cool
No Ear Plugs Needed
Don’t worry, I’m not about to drop the ‘F’ word, (factory), this segment of the building was more like a well oiled machine. From the development and textiles room, we went through a regular door and BAM! Production in process. Revealed to us was a massive production area that built chairs, tables, sofas and all other manner of things. I couldn’t believe this was next door to the office space. I expected dirt, noise, grime, but no. It was (relatively) quiet, clean and efficient. We were shown several components of their G4 chair; shown how it can be broken down to individual parts and is very cleverly made; whilst all the while, behind our guide there were two chaps making the very chair. I think we were there for around 4-5 minutes and they made around 10 chairs. Rapid.
Our trip around OB, was a revelation. It gave a taste of what a contemporary office could, and should be; allowed us to ask questions about production techniques and costings. Not only this, it gave us a chance to see what working in the industry could be. This is the part that will stick with me the longest. Thanks Orangebox. Great trip.