While imagining what Instagram's New York offices might look like, there's only one thing we could know for sure: the design must be highly 'grammable. As it turns out, the space is so stunning, it doesn't even require a filter.
Complete with a gelato spot, a self-serve bar, a wall covered in greenery, and community art installations, Instagram's newly opened NYC office is a modern-day dream — and an ideal place to spend working hours. In order to find out more behind the east-coast hub, we spoke with Instagram's New York culture lead Kitty Bromhead. The key player in the office design shared details of the creative process and brainstorming behind the new digs. From the layout to the conference room names, every decision was driven by thoughtful intention.
"We wanted the space to feel warm and inviting , especially in New York where we have these long winters," explains Bromhead. "So we have a lot of greenery, a lush, living plant wall, and exciting amenities to ensure the space feels warm and inviting."
Just inside the office doors, a digital greeting wall showcases rotating stories and posts curated from Instagram's global community of over 800 million users. Right off the bat, employees and visitors can understand just how large of a social impact the platform has made.
From here, the next stops are the creation spaces. Bromhead mentions that form and usability were at the forefront of these areas. While the office encompasses an aesthetic that's reflective of the brand, the design of the collaborative spaces was kept fairly minimal in order to leave room for discovery and invention.
The first collaborative area, The Dome, features modular, moveable seating that can be used by visitors or blend seamlessly into the perimeter of the office. Here, an overhead lighting grid with control features offers an interactive user experience.
Another creative feature meant to evoke ideas is the gradient wall (a perfect place for #ootd-ing, of course). Similarly, the living green wall — panning the height of two floors near massive windows — brings nature and light into the office space. Of course, this spot is also an ideal backdrop for any potential IG photos or videos, too. Bromhead adds, "The organization strategy behind these features was to maximize windows and bring in natural light, while also integrating points of interest for visitors."
While the culture lead reveals that the office is a space for content creation, Insta employees need to get work done, too. The conference rooms are made for important conversations and team meetings; however, they also bring in an element of whim and cheekiness. The Instagram team actually named each room after social trends and popular accounts. These include Accidentally Wes Anderson (one of our personal favorite accounts), Old Fashioned, Rainbow Bagel, Blair Waldorf, Rich Dogs of Instagram, All Black Everything, #Slime, and more.
"Another major goal in the design process was that the staff enjoyed being in the offices," Bromhead says. "That was really the inspiration behind the fun and playful details."
So, what happens when the team gets hungry? Fear not. There is a juice and gelato destination right inside. Dubbed the Frozen Palm, this space was inspired by a 1930s Cuban-Miami aesthetic. Highlighted by gold gilding, neon signage, and art-deco details, the gelato bar is a great spot to catch a break in between emails. And, did we mention the menu offers over 18 made-to-order smoothies and juices, which are also named after IG-inspired filters like Gingham, X-Pro II? As far as the gelato goes, Frozen Palm-goers can choose from over 20 innovative flavors (with waffle cups and cones available at your desire, too).
Then, there comes a time in any bustling office when one just needs an adult beverage. This is where the Thirsty Flamingo comes in. A fully stocked, self-serve bar, this space offers a range of spirits, beer, and wine. Thoughtful details are carried out here by way of a vibrant flamingo print wallpaper originally featured in Instagram's first office in Cooper Square. We're especially fond of this endearing nod to the social platform's early days.
Last, but most definitely not least, is the art. Bromhead chatted the curating process, explaining, "We worked very closely with our art director Benjamin King. Together, we pulled inspiration from office spaces and looked at New York artists for inspiration and discussion about installations."
Instagram drives business for many artists and creators, so it makes sense that the office pulls in pieces from the IG community (the current exhibition on display is a collection of photographs taken by Malike Sidibe). The company even plans to showcase these works with events in the central atrium, rotating in-house photography exhibitions, an exclusive speaker series, company gatherings, and more.
Instagram made New York its second major hub since key products — including Stories, Shopping, Feed, Search, and Explore— were built in the Big Apple. Considering we're huge fans and avid users of the platform (it's where we find most of our inspiration and design ideals), we're not surprised to know that the NYC HQ is more perfect than any other offices we've seen before. Now we'll just look out for the cameos of pretty pink gelato and five o'clock cocktails on our feeds...