While the Pokémon franchise has no shortage of memorable characters (we’re looking at you, Charizard), the video game series and its subsequent trading card game spinoff have always centered on the egalitarian idea that you “Gotta catch ’em all.” (And at latest count, there are now upwards of 1,000 of “’em” to catch).
Working within this same completist mindset, Japanese design studio Nendo has envisioned the entrance and meeting space of Creatures Inc. — one of the three main companies behind the Pokémon empire — as an exercise in multiples.
Inspired by the Pokémon Trading Card Game, the studio developed a series of 2.3 millimetre-thick steel sheets with punched out “cards” sized to match the popular paper ones that are frequently traded on school playgrounds and eBay. (A quick piece of trivia: the most expensive Pokémon card ever sold changed hands for upwards of $5 million USD.)
Bent at 12 different angles, the metal cards provide Creature Inc.’s office with a sense of texture while also introducing a bit of privacy into several enclosed workspaces.
Up close, the panels reveal a playful pattern that represents the main elements of a Pokémon card (which typically includes a creature’s name, photo, stats and attack moves) as abstract graphics. Slipped into the mix at random, nine special “Energy cards” feature unique designs (like a leaf or water symbol) that encourage thorough exploration — a concept any good Pokémon trainer is sure to be familiar with.
For another fun moment, the office recreates a few select Pokémon card designs as larger-than-life steel canvases. Near the entrance, the mighty Charizard holds court alongside fellow fan favourite Blastoise, while a third canvas reproduces the design found on the backside of Pokémon trading cards.
Notably, the third member of the Pokémon Red/Blue tag team, Venusaur (a grass-type Pokémon) is missing from action, but the work environment still does its part to represent nature with a focus on organic shapes and finishes. Floors and ceilings clad in a soft grey wood are complemented by gently curving benches and tables. As one moves from the reception area into the meeting room environments, these forms change shape, reflecting the idea of evolution that is at the heart of the Pokémon experience.
While it’s all but guaranteed to make diehard Poké-fans let out a delighted “Pika!” Creature Inc.’s minimal, monochromatic space still remains understated enough to appeal to those who didn’t quite make it to the final gym of Pokémon Sword. And if anyone in Goldenrod City needs a new office, they know who to call.
Creature Inc.’s new entrance and meeting areas evolve to appeal to diehard and casual Poké-fans alike.