We spend the greater part of our lives working, most of us in an office. The influence our surroundings have upon us, our wellbeing, creativity and ability to concentrate is immense – even if it continues to be underestimated by many employers and employees. Styleupyouroffice.com is an initiative that showcases unusual workspaces where design plays an important and positive role in shaping the working environment and brand image. The featured offices lead the way by example, showing how big a difference can be made with just a little effort; in doing so, they are part of a trend that could permanently change the face of office design. Styleupyouroffice selected MONOQI as a representative of this trend. The interview with Sarah Mettler took place in our current office, a former branch of the Dresdner Bank in Berlin-Mitte.
Styleupyouroffice: What does MONOQI do?
Sarah Mettler: MONOQI curates design from across the world and makes this available to its members, giving them the chance to buy the limited edition objects we select at friendship prices. We know and appreciate the designers whose work we’re introducing; that’s an advantage that we pass on directly and exclusively to our members. Ultimately, it’s because of this that we’re able to offer such special deals. We’re driven by a passion for design, for sharing great design with as many people as possible.
MONOQI stands for passion, for exceptional products by equally exceptional designers. That’s what we offer our members at friendship prices.
As a team we’re driven by the conviction that online shopping can and should be more fun. That’s the reason we’re intent on revolutionising the traditional shopping experience: we connect standout designers and their products with a community of design lovers, uniting these two sides in a profitable whole; at the same time, we’re giving the designers themselves a face and a voice.
What are the MONOQI offices like?
As you can see, we have a very special ‘design’ here. Most of it dates back to the days when this was still a bank, including the vault room and the plastic plants. We brought the feel of a young start-up with us and combined it with the old décor; the result is a charming atmosphere that ties these two facets together.
Why is design in the office important to you?
MONOQI stands for design and we live by design. Of course, we’re still a young start-up so it’s on a somewhat smaller scale – but it’s with a great deal of spirit. Design in the office is important because we all spend a great deal of time here and we want everyone to feel comfortable. The atmosphere has to be right. Collaborative partners, investors and others often come to the office as well – the atmosphere should be right for them too.
How important is design in acquiring new talent and potential customers?
I think that design plays a greater role today than previously when it comes to acquiring new team members. There’s a lot of competition in terms of good employers and start-ups, especially in Berlin, and talented people look very carefully at potential employers. Up till now we’ve always had positive feedback from our visitors. Everyone who comes to the office has something to talk about right away! Because of that I think that the atmosphere can be crucial when it comes to, say, the final decision of an applicant as regards whether or not they want to work somewhere. We like meeting our customers, designers and investors here and the word is getting around about our unusual office. A lot of people want to come because of that, just to “have a look around.”
The article appeared at Styleupyouroffice.com. Photography: Michael Hoelzl