Through the looking glass: a surreal creative studio in Shanghai

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When designing a creative studio, it should go without saying that making sure the interior is as creative as possible is definitely going to be a good move. Of course, different people – and different architects – have different definitions of exactly what the phrase “as creative as possible” might mean. In the case of Ivan C. Design Limited, there's certainly no compromise on pushing creativity as far as one can. This unique and bizarre interior, belonging to a design studio in Shanghai, is a brilliant example of the interesting places these architects’ imaginations can take them when they decide to go all out and follow their fantasies.

​Off to a strong start

This totally out-there pig table is one of the first things a visitor to this studio will set eyes on, setting the tone for the weird and wonderful furniture and design choices to come in the rest of the interior.

​Crazy about colour

This is an interior that’s far from coy when it comes to colour, and bold, clashing statement colours are used throughout to help achieve the playful atmosphere of the final look. Exactly which colours feature heavily varies from area to area, but the near-fluorescent transparent yellow seen here is one that recurs frequently. Its pairing here with a lollipop red chair makes this daring colour choice seem all the more unusual.

​Twigs and tendrils

If the pig put this interior into dreamlike territory, this striking arrangement of plants pushes it even further into resembling a strange hallucination. Reaching outwards and upwards from this placid-looking head, the branches and leaves of this oversized bouquet appear like the untamed tresses of some mythical creature. The overall effect is that of being faced down by a less terrifying – because less snake-covered – incarnation of Medusa.

​Mind-numbing meetings no more

Let’s face it, at least 85% of all meeting push the human capacity for boredom to its absolute threshold (and some would say that suggesting 15% don’t is overly generous). Since meetings are an unavoidable fact of office existence, the next best thing to escaping them completely has to be to find some way of secretly occupying one’s mind during those parts when zoning out seems inevitable. Perhaps for this reason, this meeting room comes fully outfitted with lots to look at. Lots and lots and lots. So at least you’ll be visually stimulated, even if not in any other way.

​Bold blue

Another strong statement colour, and this time it’s used all over the walls instead of being limited to accessories and accents here and there. This strong, deep blue is perfect for adding a further touch of drama to an already atmospheric, windowless space.

​Migraine sufferers beware

Those with sensitive eyes might want to steer clear of this delightfully stripy space. However for others this private office area, complete with a quirky lamp in the shape of a rabbit, is the ideal place to escape reality.

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