10 unconventional office design tips

29.04.2016 | Text Isabelle Pohl | Photo Stefan Haehnel


The Adventures Of in Kreuzberg, Berlin.

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'From Her For Her' with Sophie Mayer and Leila El-Kayem

When Sophie Mayer and Leila El-Kayem founded The Adventures Of agency, it gave rise to an ever-evolving playground of creativity. Their office premises in the Aufbau Haus building in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin provided the perfect space for expressing this creativity using their passion for interior design. Anyone seeking inspiration for their own workplace might find just what they're looking for here. The Aufbau Haus building in Berlin's Kreuzberg district is a unique combination of culture and the creative industries. Besides the Prince Charles Club and the new restaurant Pacifico, it is also home, for instance, to a cultural centre for Sinti and Roma, the design academy berlin, and nursery and architectural modelling specialists Planet Modulor. A wealth of co-working spaces and agencies have established themselves here in recent years. One of these is creative agency The Adventures Of, which moved into what is undoubtedly one of the most attractive spaces on the fourth floor of the recently completed annex in 2015.


Sophie Mayer & Leila El-Kayem in their office.

When you walk through the doors of The Adventures Of it’s as if you stepped into another miniature world. A large open-plan room with industrial charm, an encircling facade of windows looking down on the Moritzplatz square, and six-metre high ceilings allow visitors to instantly become part of this 'playground of creativity.' Not only is this amply sized room a workplace, it also functions as an event space and gallery. Mayer and El-Kayem's shared passion for design, architecture and interior concepts makes this place simply unmistakable and prompted us to ask the duo for their personal design tips and hints for creating an extraordinary office space.

the adventure of tepee


The tepee as a retreat for relaxing and dreaming.

The tepee provides the ideal retreat during a hectic day at work. You can rest on cushions made of fabrics from Zanzibar, which Sophie Mayer once brought back from a trip there. The cushions were sewn together by fashion designer friend Siobhan O’Callaghan.

adventure of lamps


The industrial lamps from LEF Living emit a pleasantly warm light.

The lamps are replicas of old industrial lamps and extend over the ceiling's entire surface. Besides looking great, they emit a cosy, warm light. They were found in the LEF Living online shop.

adventure of mugs


A small motivational aid for the work day: LIKE A BOSS mugs.

The LIKE A BOSS mugs are self-designed office items. They provide a gentle reminder that every employee should start their own little revolution every day.

adventure of art work

Works of art

Artwork by David Shrigley and Ian Stevenson.

Two of the many framed works of art adorning the office walls make a valuable point using wry humour. The two drawings (David Shrigley 'Aim High' and Ian Stevenson 'You have no new messages') serve as a reminder that it is vital to differentiate between analogue life and digital networking and to draw a clear line between the two. This is an important challenge that Mayer and El-Kayem also face day in and day out at work.

adventure of nelson mandela

Nelson Mandela Poster

A memento from Sophie Mayer's home country.

The Nelson Mandela election poster from 1994 is an original from Sophie's home country of South Africa. For her it's a piece of home and an important symbol of cultural diversity.

adventure of wall hanging

Wall hanging

Apart from its decorative function, the wall hanging also improves the room's acoustics.

The Persian carpet hanging on the high concrete wall directly behind the desks was found on eBay. Not only is it a magnificent wall decoration, it also acts as additional soundproofing material – something that is of great importance in large open-plan workspaces.

adventure of stamp

Stamp set and notepad

The Adventures Of stamp set and notepad.

Every employee receives a The Adventures Of stamp set with a notepad decorated with the agency's first logo. It is intended to spur them on by reminding them that every day can hold a new adventure and every adventure can be recorded.

adventure of flag

Agency Flag

The Adventures Of flag above the steps at the office entrance.

Why not fly your flag in your own office? Anyone who is unsure of where they are will find a friendly reminder at the office entrance. The flag was handmade by fellow employee Sarah and designer friend Siobahn, and has been with the agency since day one.

ceramic tiger

Office protector

The Asian ceramic tiger.

The white ceramic tiger guarding the foyer is a gift from Leila's former employer and originally came from the Dong Xuang Center, an Asian market in Berlin's Lichtenberg quarter.

leather couch

Leather couch

The vintage couch in the foyer.

The leather couch dating from the 1950s was bought at an old vintage store in the centre of Berlin and is one of the office's centrepieces. As El-Kayem says, 'It's black, sexy and there's no problem if you spill whiskey on it!'

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