Over the course of eight years, RIGI Design has developed into an impressive multifaceted design company. Founded by Kai Liu, the company now employs a roster of talented young designers that all contribute to the spectacular work RIGI is so well known for. Their aesthetic is unique and undeniably well polished. With a focus on warmth, simplicity, and the human element, their designs revolve around making real connections with people. Kai Liu had a vision of creating a space that both suitably matched and properly conveyed the temperament of RIGI. Their new office in Shanghai’s Changning district is the project that resulted from that vision. The aesthetics and design concepts they employed for this new office are similar to their other projects, which skillfully invoke emotions through an air of simplicity.
The office space began in a rather plain rectangular space, with natural light only available from one side of the building. After careful consideration, the space was divided into a few different areas: an open office, an independent office, a lab space, a meeting room, a material room, a small showroom, and a reception area. Different design approaches imbued each different area with its own identity and unique characteristics. The meeting room was originally an abysmally tight room with only a height of four meters, a cramped space that’s not ideal for meetings. Eliminating the stereotypical meeting room designs, they created a pitched roof with chamfered edges and a light that radiated from the nooks of the wall. These design choices work in tandem to alleviate the unwanted sense of the room being too narrow.
Another one of their more unique areas is LKLAB, their designated lab space. This area is set aside for Kai Liu and other designers to gather and build models or put some of their favorite objects on display. This space was born out of Kai Liu’s belief that designers shouldn’t be overdependent on computers, but rather create with their hand and eyes in order to create good sketches and models. Kai Liu also believes that a sense of dimension is important for interior designers, so in order to hone and develop the designers’ sense of dimension, many of the furniture and walls in the new offices are marked with their respective dimensions.
RIGI’s color choices were thoughtful and played a big part in forming their ideal ambience. Their colors sought to establish a calming mood that wouldn’t feel too harsh or intrusive. To achieve this, they opted for contrasting, desaturated colors. But even with all the work and thoughtfulness poured into the design of their new office, they’ve never once deviated from their original mindset, which is the belief that more important than the space itself is the staff that will be working within the space and all the future stories and designs that will come with the people.