The agency, it’s fair to say, is unassuming – marked only by signs in four of Dentsu’s signature colours on the side windows. The office space itself is hidden behind a pleasant marble-tiled reception area. But Dentsu is spacious. SP Lee, managing and creative director of the agency branch, calls it “massive,” with an undertone laugh.
“It’s an inside joke that Fida (the receptionist) has the largest room in the office,” he says.
A random picnic table is revealed to be a congregation point for the office’s creative talents.
The property that houses the brains behind all of Dentsu’s creations was actually inherited 10 years ago and since then, a lot has changed. “Compartmentalised and old-fashioned,”he described it as, “was unsuitable for a fluid advertising and media culture that is seeing conversion, not diversion."
The office is a vast open space, ringed by administration offices, with 70 staff occupying workbenches lit by low hanging lights and islands of couches positioned in strategic corners for spontaneous brainstorming sessions, or a quick chat.
Dark walls, exposed pipes and rough construction materials give the property a less refined look, resembling something of an industrial-style, shabby café-slash-bar establishment. Even the bathroom is finished with rough stone cuttings and an absence of a proper faucet.
“Open space means that communication flows freely. Borders are bad for business; they create psychological division. I think openness is required for people to interact, so essentially that’s what the space is all about,” Lee says.
He says the departments are not cordoned off or separated by walls for a purpose.
“We can interact across all departments, we don’t make a distinction anymore. Our people prefer to live the integrated concept.
“The reality is that nowadays, advertising and media needs to be seamless, therefore, the office space should also be seamless.”