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Inside Twitter’s Expanded SF Offices: Birds, More Birds. Also, Birds

Twitter unveils its expanded bird-themed headquarters. It’s downright Hitchcock-ian.

Inside Twitter’s Expanded SF Offices: Birds, More Birds. Also, Birds
Twitter HQ

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Last
November, Twitter fetched up at generous new headquarters in San
Francisco’s SOMA district. Just six months later, the social
networking site has annexed more space. Next up: Twitter takes over @world?

Let’s
hope not, at least not for design’s sake. The decor’s pretty basic
here; it looks like it was whipped off in a few days, which considering
that the company expanded from about 50 employees to more than 200 in half
a year, it probably was.

The eye behind both spaces is San
Francisco designer Sara Morishige. She
also happens to be married to Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.

So the place is lousy with bird graphics. Birds. Twitter. Tweet, tweet. Get it? “The bird decals were custom; traced from a photo I took
while visiting @ev’s dad,” Morishige says of the original source, @ev,
of course, being Williams.

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It’s
a cute idea if used sparingly, but man, they just knock you over the
head with this stuff. They’ve even got birds embedded in the conference
table. It’s almost Hitchcockian.

Morishige collaborated with 3 Fish Studios on some of the art work.


More
Twitter-themed art. Do you really want to be reminded of where you work
all the time? Maybe Twitter employees do. It’s one of those offices
that has a bunch of “lifestyle” features to pander to its cool-kid staff. Fifteen
years ago, that meant beanbags and pool tables. Today, it’s yoga rooms
and vegan food. Twitter hq, naturally, has both. That’s the cafe below.

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The nicest
touches come from Lundberg Design, which fabricated a lot of
the woodwork. Those are manzanita tree branches suspended over a
reception desk.

But then they have really boring, under-designed areas like this.

Companies
are always using glossy new offices to pound their chests about their brilliance or creativity or
whatever. Consider Facebook’s headquarters,
which fairly drip with ambition — every incandescent bulb meticulously
planted, every Eames Molded Plastic Rocker perfectly arranged. Twitter,
on the other hand, seems unsure about the story it wants to tell. Is it whimsical or serious? Powerful or scrappy? Here’s to hoping
they have a clearer vision for the service itself.

[Via Michelle Kaufmann]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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