Reliance Jio, an upcoming 4G service provider in India, was awarded the Herman Miller-REACH award for innovative concept design of their commercial office situated in Navi Mumbai. Conceived and implemented by Mumbai-based design consultant firm DWP Interics, the modern open-office model was rewarded primarily for its stylish collaborative spaces, sleek lounges, and use of attractive colour schemes.
Marketed as one of the largest transformational green-field digital initiatives anywhere in the world, Reliance Jio came up with the idea of open-office culture from its founders, the people also behind India’s largest conglomerate Reliance Industries, (RIL). With a vision to create a work environment in its Mumbai headquarters that would help bring about radical change across the entire organization, the telecom company joined hands with a number of designers and concept artists to carefully plan the layout of the office, which was completed in 2015. The aim to put a blanket on non-collaborative work stations worked well for the company. One highlight from their eight-storied glass-façade building is an art installation that is supposedly made out of scrapped remains of a petite four-wheeler which once used to be a ubiquitous black-and-yellow taxi (locally known as kaali-peeli), a type of cabs that still adorns the roads of Mumbai and other cities of India.
“One of the biggest challenges we faced was the pre-existing cabin culture”, said a management executive with Jio who was closely related to the project, “which made people toil only within their own space. The organizational shift, that was very much needed, further fueled the idea, which then led to the foundation of the office design.” Named Courtyards, the concept implemented by Jio was simple: Every house or village or township across India has an inward space where groups of people gather for discussions, evening meets, celebrations, and a variety of other activities. Started in 2014, the final product would go on to furnish a modern open office environment, which would help enhance staff productivity at Jio as they inch towards launching their services.
Other winners in the ‘Commercial Office’ group were Airbnb’s Beijing office, IBM Studio in Shanghai, Marriott’s Shanghai office and Indeed Tokyo to name a few.
Herman Miller-REACH is a synergic enterprise formed by the American furniture manufacturer. With a worldwide presence and a history of over a hundred years, Herman Miller is credited with the invention of the office cubicle, which currently forms an integral part of companies around the world. The design award has been around for a few years where it recognizes achievement in design in the spheres of business, lifestyle, projects, and events.
Reliance Jio is an upcoming 4G digital service provider in India with a pan-India license. It is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries and is marketed along with LYF, a 4G LTE smartphone brand, which is the fifth largest mobile brand in India.
DWP Interics was founded in 1984 in Mumbai and provides services ranging from architectural design, interior design, and project management. In 2009, it won the American Design Award for best interior design.
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