Projects

Zazzle

Zazzle’s philosophy of manufacturing products per the buyer’s specifications could be viewed as a retailer’s variation on the kind of custom, client-driven design O+A practices. For that reason O+A’s design of Zazzle’s headquarters in Redwood City felt like a charmed project.

Zazzle’s philosophy of manufacturing products per the buyer’s specifications could be viewed as a retailer’s variation on the kind of custom, client-driven design O+A practices. For that reason O+A’s design of Zazzle’s headquarters in Redwood City felt like a charmed project.

  • City San Francisco, CA

  • Year 2012

  • Size 120,000 sq ft

  • Team Denise Cherry, Perry Stephney, Elizabeth Guerrero, Neil Bartley, Caren Currie, Jeorge Jordan, Will Chu, Justin Ackerman, Steven Gerten

  • Photographer Jasper Sanidad

Every Doorknob Tells a Story

Robert Beaver and his sons Jeff and Bobby built their company on the idea that everything people use should be a unique expression of who they are. O+A built its practice on the belief every detail of a design contributes to the story the client has to tell. As partners in creating Zazzle’s office, both participants started on the same page.

Maker Values on a Large Scale

Here’s an example. When O+A presented the company with two options for the 4th floor break area—wallpaper or tile—Zazzle chose kiln-fired, hand-shaped, hand-glazed, hand-sanded tile produced locally by Heath Ceramics. That was also the designers’ choice.

Shou Sugi Ban

Another example. Because the elevator shaft occupies a central position in Zazzle’s office, O+A saw an opportunity to turn a functional, often design-neutral necessity into one of the striking features of the space. Using the ancient Japanese technique of scorching wood to preserve it, O+A combined burned oak with unburned hickory to create an elevator shaft that looks like a mountain lodge in a Kurosawa movie.

Nothing Too Humble to Be Well-Made

In the customization of break areas and elevator shafts, poker rooms and phone rooms and yes, even doorknobs, O+A and Zazzle expressed in physical terms a core belief that drives both companies—that every product and every space, however modest, deserves the respect of good design.

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