New Zealand – The technology giant has partnered with Indigenous communities for a more inclusive workplace in Auckland. Centring on the theme of Te Tai, which translates as ‘the tide’, the design of the Google Aotearoa office integrates influence from the natural landscape of Aotearoa – the Māori name for New Zealand – with Google’s brand identity.
Created by architects Warren and Mahoney, the space includes a wooden centrepiece made from locally sourced timber sheets, alongside an immersive digital ceiling playing footage of New Zealand. The design process was conducted in close partnership with cultural adviser Anzac Tasker and local iwi (tribe) Ngāti Whātua. By working directly with Indigenous communities, Google has sought to showcase and represent local traditions without being appropriative.
‘Google Aotearoa’s new home wears a narrative woven around place, featuring stories of land, people, and culture – each bringing the richness of Aotearoa, New Zealand to its users,’ says Scott Compton, interior design principal at Warren and Mahoney. In this way, the company shows how workplaces can be designed in a way that celebrates the identity of its workers and the area they’re based in.
Companies with a global presence should consider the unique traits of the regions they’re operating in. Think beyond customer-facing cultural nuances and invest in your internal culture