With a name as fun as Toca Boca, even those who haven't heard of the games company before will guess that their work is all about enjoyment. Now, the award-winning kids’ app studio is taking ‘work hard, play hard’ to the extreme by designing their offices as an adult playground, so they can do both at the same time.
Yes, adult playground. Let me say that one more time: Adult. Playground. In a world where we poor adults just don’t get enough fun, Toca Boca staff can go to work and feel that dizzy, childhood elation with secret hiding places, toy cars you can fit in and – it gets even better – indoor go-karting. There’s also oversized furniture, but we’re less excited about that one.
And Toca Boca has come up with some productivity-based reasons for all of their bonkers Stockholm offices: to “help its staff see the world through the playful eyes of a child.” If that excuse isn’t an example of childlike creativity, I don’t know what is. Maybe the youthful overhaul is working its inspiring magic.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be so sceptical about Toca Boca’s logic. After all, since launching five years ago it has become one of the world’s most successful app developers – and getting its workers to act and think like children could be the key to even more successful designs for kids.
For Toca Boca, playing is an important way of seeing the world - and Toca Boca aims to make playtime as positive as possible, with gender neutral apps, a focus emotional development and encouraging parents to actually spend with their kids even with iPhone in small, chubby hand.
Regardless, it comes as no surprise that the designs were co-created with Toca Boca employees (if I could redesign our offices, I would probably suggest go-karts too).
The photos of smiling, laughing children playing amongst the toys and art aren't marketing lies: the new offices are there to inspire not just the adults, but the kids that help design Toca Boca’s digital toys. Just like offices in New York and San Francisco, children are welcomed every week to help test new apps. And it clearly works, with over 100 million downloads in 215 countries.
Set in an old lightbulb factory, hopefully this office means Toca Boca will have plenty of bright ideas to come (sorry).
Each room follows the bright and wild Toca Boca brand colours of green, yellow, pink, orange and blue.