City New York
Size 4,500 Sq Ft
Team Mindi Weichman, Neil Bartley, Tari Pelaez, Katelyn Nemnich, Donald Koide
Photographer Garrett Rowland
The New York Version
Nike is a global brand, but it’s a brand that has never lost sight of its origins. The Pacific Northwest values that shaped the company in its formative years—self-sufficiency, athleticism, healthy living, hard work—still drive the culture at its Beaverton, Oregon headquarters. That said, the New York office of any company necessarily takes on the temperament of the city. Of crucial importance to the design of this space in Midtown Manhattan was that it reflect the pulse and pace of the Brooklyn streets where sneaker culture was born.
What If Art Ruled the World?
One way of bringing that Brooklyn vibe to Midtown was art. Nike commissioned Stikki Peaches a rising star of the street-art-goes-gallery scene to greet people stepping off the elevator with a giant, graffiti-adorned Kate Moss. Stikki’s fusion of pop-culture iconography and tagger’s hieroglyphics seemed the perfect aesthetic for a team that functions within the Nike family as in-house disrupters.
Light as Ethos
But if the elevator lobby echoes the feel of a punk rock basement, it leads into spaces that connect with a luminous tradition Beaverton and Brooklyn share. The restorative power of light, the capacity of sun-drenched spaces to invigorate and inspire is native to all geographies. Nike’s Digital Innovation Studio is all about translating information into digitized products—ie. into light. It makes sense that the environment in which that work happens should be, in the broadest sense of the phrase, solar powered.