The first Opendesk

How designing Mint Digital’s London office brought Opendesk into being…

Above:The team at Ensambleria in Mexico City - one of many Opendesk makers around the world

Nick and Joni (Opendesk Co-founders) have been working with the lovely folks at Mint Digital to design (and in some cases, help build) them a new home. We took a deliberately light approach to developing their space as a canvas to be both grown into and adapted as their needs, workflow and circumstances change – but rather than elaborating, we’ve got the following words from the Mints themselves:

“After a search that began in April last year, a spat with the Crown over a potential property and a two-month build, this has been a long time coming. But here we are. Last week saw Mint London move into its fancy new digs in Exmouth Market. The new place is more than double the size of our previous office in Vauxhall, giving us much more space. So much so that when all our boxes turned up, they only took up one small corner of the new office.

When we first laid eyes on the vacant lot, we quickly realised it would be silly to attempt this all by ourselves. We reached out to who, by now, I can call our friends and future collaborators, 00:/. The 00s would most likely be insulted if I was to call them architects; architecture just happens to be one of the things they do. They recently released the ’Compendium for the Civic Economy’ and are currently working on an iPhone app. They took our ideas for the space, added a few of their own - in retrospect, Nick admits he’s glad we didn’t go for the ‘stairs above desks’ - and transformed an empty shell into what Mint now calls home.

There’s a lot I could mention about the space but I’d like to draw particular attention to our desks. A bespoke design by 00, they are CNC cut and hand-finished. They feature two different tops, which can be flipped in four different ways, giving an insane 64 permutations per desk. Power and data is delivered to each desk via the ceiling, each made a feature of with LED lit pendants hanging above.

The best part, however, is that our desks are open source. Along with 00, we’ll be releasing the CAD files for the desks, meaning anyone can get them CNC cut and made, or improve on the design and share it back with the community.

We’re not quite there yet with the space. In fact, I doubt we’ll ever call it ‘finished’, but already, there seems to be a buzz about the place. Plus, the radically improved lunch options that Exmouth Market has to offer definitely help.”

The above account below recalls a formative moment for Opendesk - our first design being the Lean desk, developed for and with Mint Digital. Words from 00:/ and Mint Digital.