Our client, Lab M0 (M-zero), is a rising design firm specialized in advanced materials. It is an integrative and progressive design firm not only designing product forms but also developing the most suitable materials that are fundamental to products at the R&D center. By doing so, it is making a new approach to all processes from materials to product structures, functions and packages.

The only thing that M0 requested for the spatial design was an atmosphere of freedom. So, STUDIO MUTE focused on transforming the traditional work space into the new one and used materials that would reflect corporate identity without much processing of existing materials. All people work in this space—including the CEO—are free to sit anywhere just as those working in cafés (coffice) or co-working spaces and if someone wants to keep that day’s vibe up, he/she may turn the music on. Of course, there are no partition panels.

Every space, except for the interior design room, sampling room, and meeting room that are separated for privacy, is open for everyone to communicate and exchange ideas freely. We have designed and fabricated most of the furniture and lighting fixtures (except for few items) to adapt to the creative atmosphere of the firm. The tables in the meeting room were collaboratively made by manufacturers from three different industries—HPL, wooden furniture, and concrete furniture.

The plant table in the center has a natural aura in and of itself. It is occupied by different kinds of plants to secure the private desks of each member, while allowing them to share the pace of work with its synergetic role. It is an essential element that plays multiple roles. In addition to the main table, there are plants throughout the space to soften the R&D center’s rigid atmosphere.

This place, located in the once-industrial district that has transformed into the trendiest spot in Seongsu-dong, was originally a factory for making boxes. Because the space was filled with boxes and stuffy due to the low ceiling, we tore down all the walls of the factory building to open up the space and replaced the wall looking out to the walls outside and the upper part of the plant table with window to bring in more natural lighting. Thanks to the window, the space is bright enough to keep the artificial lighting off during daytime and creates a natural passage leading to the outside. Views from the window on rainy and snowy days are picturesque.