Article by Rana Aytug. Photography by Nabil Quteineh. Conceptual design by Omar Al Sharif and Space Design. Interior design by Space Design. Graphic Design by Organic Visual Art.
Innovation and creativity cannot be scheduled and they certainly cannot be imposed – and out of all places definitely not in the work place. Oasis500 Chairman Usama Fayyad and his team understand this philosophy very well. They understand it so explicitly that their office design successfully operates as a self-contained “life space” tending to the needs and requirements of every facet of employee life. They understand productivity and success. They understand and appreciate fun. They know that when people are having fun at work, they stay at work, and when they stay at work, they work at work.
The word oasis addresses a serious gap in the region; the lack of seed- and early-stage funding for technology ventures. A leading early-stage and seed-investment company, and the first of its kind in Jordan and the MENA region, Oasis500 is rooted in building a new platform for entrepreneurship in the region through assisting passionate and ambitious entrepreneurs in starting their own companies. Oasis500 nurtures creative ideas in information and communications technology (ICT), mobile and digital media, transforming them into startup companies. With a clear vision encouraging entrepreneurship in Jordan and the region led by a strong generation of Arab entrepreneurs, the goal is clear: 500 startup companies in five years. And it knows exactly what kind of a “life space” fosters this level of success.
It is not every day – or even any day for some – when a typical work day begins with a slide ride past colorful walls with inspirational quotes, where the entire office space with all its open plan cubicles brimming with distinct declarations of individuality and character flash by; when the nearest place to jot down a breakthrough idea is a wall-length blackboard already oozing with the last great thought; where the meeting room of your choice comes down to the color you’re inspired by at the moment; or where you can grab a Skype call in the serenity and quirkiness of a submarine. At Oasis500, this is every day.
Envisioned by Omar Al Sharif, marketing manager of Oasis500 who later joined forces with Space Design, the concept of the office strives to maintain an open culture, where everyone is a hands-on contributor and where ideas, feedback, learning and teaching happen simultaneously and unpredictably. Like the slide, every other design aspect conveys that the best solution is not always the most ordinary one. Offering diverse spaces for individual thought or collaborative discussions, from a sprawling bench table and a place as cozy and enveloping as the KitKat station to a floating plastic bubble in the library and leisure spaces for relaxation from cloud-like bean bags – there is choice and there is an abundance of it.
There is nothing ordinary about a quirky, edgy, comical yet thought-provoking collection of graphics or the display of pixilated pipe-motif themes linking inspirational quotes selected by Usama Fayyad and designed by Tarik Al-Khateeb and Noor Sawalha of Organic Visual Arts. And there is certainly nothing ordinary about heading to your next meeting in a submarine down a slide. But then again, there is nothing ordinary about Oasis500.
Author: Rana Aytug