Un­box­ing PO­TEN­TIAL

Rayyan Al Ajaji talks about Un­box his shared work­shop con­cept that en­hances pro­duc­tiv­ity through de­sign

Architectural Digest (UAE) - - Partnership - WORDS JU­MANA AB­DEL–RAZ­ZAQ PHO­TOG­RA­PHY EFRAIM EVIDOR

Peo­ple come here with their ideas, and we help get them un­boxed,” says Rayyan Al Ajaji, founder of a new shared workspace that helps cor­po­ra­tions, en­trepreneurs and start-ups grow their busi­ness within an origami-in­spired in­te­rior. Newly launched in Dubai’s Busi­ness Bay, Un­box is de­scribed by its founder as a com­mu­nity of like-minded peo­ple col­lab­o­rat­ing within a mul­ti­func­tional space. “We have a good mix of busi­nesses of all sizes, from a wide range of in­dus­tries,” ex­plains Al Ajaji. The workspace of­fers ev­ery­thing un­der one roof, in­clud­ing dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, hu­man re­sources and ac­count­ing to help busi­nesses re­alise their full po­ten­tial with ease.

With a calm, yet stylish de­sign, the Ja­panese-in­spired in­te­rior is built to pro­vide to­tal com­fort for mem­bers. “We wanted to have a min­i­mal de­sign with soft colours that bring about the feel of a re­laxed of­fice,” Al Ajaji says. “We didn’t want to do any­thing too funky or ex­ag­ger­ated, but more laid-back and busi­ness fo­cused.” He adds that just like origami, the Ja­panese art that has in­spired

the look and feel of the space, a busi­ness idea can be shaped or re­shaped “in any way you want” to re­fine it over time. “We have dif­fer­ent ar­eas as well, in­clud­ing open and closed spa­ces de­pend­ing on dif­fer­ent pref­er­ences,” he says. “Web de­vel­op­ers and tech pro­fes­sion­als, for in­stance, work in quiet spa­ces, so we’ve pro­vided those types of ex­perts with closed of­fices. Sales pro­fes­sion­als, on the other hand, tend to pre­fer a more open en­vi­ron­ment.”

Other than its vis­ual ap­peal, the de­sign of the walls and ceil­ings also serves an acous­tic pur­pose. “The wall at the en­trance, for ex­am­ple, de­flects sound and muffles echoes through­out the of­fice,” he adds. Even the fur­ni­ture serves an acous­tic func­tion, help­ing to re­duce noise pol­lu­tion fur­ther. Sus­tain­abil­ity was an­other key con­sid­er­a­tion, with Un­box us­ing light­weight, biodegrad­able pan­els for the walls and ceil­ings, as well as or­ganic car­pet­ing and lo­cally sourced ma­te­ri­als.

“In­no­va­tion, cre­ativ­ity and per­for­mance are all in­spired by de­sign,” he says. “We grow up sur­rounded by ar­chi­tec­ture, and it tends to evoke cer­tain feel­ings.” For Al Ajaji, that feel­ing for any work space should al­ways be com­fort.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: RAYYAN AL AJAJI IN THE RE­CEP­TION OF UN­BOX, WHICH PRO­VIDES BUSI­NESSES OF ALL SIZES A CON­VE­NIENT AND IN­SPIR­ING BASE TO OP­ER­ATE FROM IN DUBAI; AN OPEN PLAN FLEX­I­BLE WORK­ING ZONE; EN­CLOSED AR­EAS FOR MAK­ING CALLS; AN IM­PRES­SIVE MUL­TI­FUNC­TIONAL SPACE FOR EVENTSAND WORK­SHOPS

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