Mobility brand strived for ”perfect imperfection” when designing its Gothenburg HQ

Lynk & Co also told architects and craftsmen to stop working when they had finished 85% of the work. Here’s why.
April 24, 2023

In the last few days, the mobility company has invited visitors of Milan Design Week to its Lynk & Co club in the city, showcasing a new monochromatic, functional collection with Bebo Objects. For its first presentation outside Scandinavia, the Swedish design brand and designers Daniel Enoksson and David Ericsson presented new products in an exhibition curated by Gothenburg-based architecture office New Order Arkitektur. That same firm also stands behind Lynk & Co’s Gothenburg head office, which was finished last year and awarded first prize in Architecture Collection Awards. 

— It of course needs to be a functional and solid workplace for all colleagues but more than that, it’s a physical embodiment of our brand; disruptive, unexpected, and fun, says Lynk & Co’s creative design lead Joel Winckler. At the beginning of the project, we did a survey with all employees on what they would like to see and have in a new office. We got a ton of input. We also went far with our open desk policy, heavily reducing the number of actual desks and replacing them with alternatives to adapt to a more collaborative and hybrid work situation. Our design philosophy for offices is the same as for our other physical touchpoints. We create rough and raw canvases and then furnish them with curated and deliberate pieces of interior.

The interior design concept developed together with New Order Arkitektur has been dubbed Urban Traces, where ”urban” means the layers of which an urban environment is built but also repurposed spaces and objects, and beautiful roughness.

— To reach that level of ’authenticity’ we took the decision to work as much as possible with recycled and upcycled furniture. Our goal was that if you flip the building upside-down, everything that falls should be second-hand. We didn’t make it to a hundred per cent but we got a long way, Winckler shares, continuing,

— This is also how we started working with our 85% concept. It became a way for us to explain to architects and craftsmen in the construction phase to stop working on say, a concrete floor or a wall treatment when they had finished 85% of the work. That was our sweet spot to find perfect imperfection. A huge plus is of course the sustainability aspect in that approach. Doing nothing is maybe the most sustainable thing you can do. But if we can use 15% less resources and still stay true to our design intent, it’s a win. Creating a rough and raw backdrop in a new building is challenging, craftsmen strive for perfection, and rightfully so. But for us as a brand, we always search for a perfect imperfection in our design. We also explored and experimented a lot with 3D printing using 100% recycled plastics — when combining it with different textures like flocked coating we managed to create some unique pieces.

What trends and macro trends do you see for offices now?

— In a post-covid work environment, where so many people got used to working from their dining table or pop-up office at home the act and purpose of going to your ’real’ office might have changed, says Winckler. The importance of living brand culture and building a team is probably higher up on the agenda than if you are sharing your presentation online or face-to-face. Of course, this needs to be addressed in spatial design and functionalities.