OnOffice sat down with Nasim Köerting to discuss what’s ahead for workspaces while people continue to push boundaries further and further
OnOffice: Can you share when your interest in design began?
Nasim Köerting: Art was my first introduction to creativity as a child. I was really taken by the abstract way artists think, and the tremendous power of colour and form to create an atmosphere and tell stories. This naturally led me to study interior architecture at university, and when I began working in the design field things really took off. It’s one thing to imagine something, it’s another thing entirely to do this while overcoming the practical and logistical challenges that are involved in any project. Design is where project management meets inspiration. It felt amazing to be able to conceive of ideas and see them built in reality – I couldn’t believe it was a job!
OO: What inspires you?
NK: People. The best part of my job is getting to meet such a wide range of creative people and the opportunity to discover what makes them tick, and to channel that energy through The Office Group (TOG) is truly quite special. I find the collaborative process really energising on a personal level, and I think it elevates everything we do. I love meeting people with drive and admire the passion for what they do.
OO: What does an ideal working day look like for you?
NK: Not to contradict what I just said, but the ideal day would begin with taking my dog for a walk! I like to spend time visiting different TOG spaces and sites, meeting an artist or a designer for a coffee and chat, and catching up with the team about what we’re working on. So, a day full of conversation and collaboration is a good one in my books.
OO: Is there a rise in local co-working? Might this mark the end of commuting in cities?
NK: Yes and no! We’ve all seen the dramatic predictions about the future of the office and the city and work etc. TOG’s community, for example, is hugely varied so it’s hard to generalise about specific situations – which I can appreciate is a slightly annoying answer. But people want to be together, and they’re also more conscious about reducing their carbon footprint by commuting less. The local aspect of a number of TOG locations has a strong draw for this reason, but there is always a desire to come together in more central locations. It’s most definitely a mixture of both.
OO: How are co-working spaces evolving after the global pandemic?
NK: There’s more competition in the co-working market than ever. There’s no doubt about it. The advantages that flexibility offers have steadily been gaining traction in recent years, most especially post pandemic. Also, the wider understanding and appreciation of what’s unique about a flex office space has grown within the design community, and people somehow keep pushing the boundaries of the
workplace further and further. One clear point of evolution is an appreciation for comfort and ease – it makes sense, since we’ve spent so much time at home and are bringing those expectations forward. I love to see how designers are meeting this shift in innovative ways. It’s an exciting time for workspaces.
OO: What music is playing while you work?
NK: 1990s hip hop and R&B. Always.
OO: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read, watched or seen this week?
NK: I’ve been listening to the audio book of Matt Haig’s Notes on a Nervous Planet. It’s a super interesting take on the impact of technology and social media on our lives.
OO: What’s your favourite TOG space?
NK: Would you be surprised if I said our head office? We designed it fully ourselves in-house, which was a really interesting experience. When you’ve staked your reputation on the design of workspaces, your own workspace becomes a kind of test of your ideas and values – so it was a really fun test! We were able to implement all the things that we had learned from our other buildings through the years in one space.
OO: Can you share what TOG is currently working on?
NK: There’s so much – it’s a busy, busy time! We have just launched a building at 210 Euston Road in London with Universal Design Studio, and then we have two more opening in London and another two in Berlin.
OO: Where can we follow you and keep up to date on your latest projects and work?
NK: You can follow all the main TOG news and beautiful architecture shots via Instagram on @theofficegroup, and my own personal account @nasimkoerting for a more behind-the-scenes perspective.
Image by Billie Scheepers
As featured in OnOffice 159, Summer 2022. Read a digital version of the issue for free.