Dezeen Magazine

Semba Good Ethical Office

Semba Corporation creates own office interior from reclaimed materials

Interior construction firm Semba Corporation has renovated the interior of its headquarters in Tokyo to include reclaimed materials discarded during the demolition of other offices.

The company's redesign of its own office interior is shortlisted in the sustainable interior category for the upcoming Dezeen Awards, which will announce its winners next month.

Semba Good Ethical Office interior
The interior is made from materials salvaged from demolished offices

Called Semba Good Ethical Office, the project features various pared-back tables, seating and shelving created from materials salvaged from previous office demolitions.

This furniture is positioned across a single open-plan space in Japan's capital, which is brightly illuminated by overhead lighting and rectilinear windows.

Reclaimed wooden structure
Plinth-like seating and stairs forms a centrepiece

A plinth-like centrepiece takes the form of both a staircase and a designated desk area, which was formed from boxy arrangements of surplus wood and old filing cabinets.

Semba Corporation centred the interiors around two principles – "ethical" and "hackable" design – in order to complete the project, the company said.

Semba Corporation office
Semba Corporation applied its own design principles to the project

"To incorporate 'ethical design', a circular interior design [theory], into the office renovation, we mined materials from unnecessary stuff generated by office demolitions," Semba Corporation told Dezeen.

"Under the theme of 'hackable design', we can redefine our working style and attitudes. We completely renovated our office to be friendly to the Earth, people and society," explained the firm.

Reconstituted foam padding by Semba Corporation
Reconstituted foam was used to create padding on benches

According to the company, 80 per cent of the furniture in the Semba Good Ethical Office is reused, while the office achieved a waste-recycling rate of 99 per cent.

Reconstituted foam was used to create the padding on benches that make up informal meeting booths, while various offcuts of wood were used to construct geometric shelves throughout the interior.

Semba Corporation explained that it hopes that other firms will begin to adopt similar design principles when creating their office interiors.

"Especially in Japan, the lifespan from construction to demolition and disposal has become very short since [increasing] economic growth, and waste has been dumped in landfill," the firm said.

"However, Japanese culture has originally valued attachment to things and has an aesthetic sense to continue to use them with creative ideas. So I think our principles have an affinity to that culture."

"We hope that 'ethical design,' a future-friendly interior design, will be a basic principle in interior design for the future."

Wooden shelving
Reclaimed wood was used to form various shelving

Semba Good Ethical Office joins a group of existing self-designed studios that other firms have created to be more sustainable than the average office, according to the companies.

These include German studio Urselmann Interior's renovation of its studio to include biodegradable, recycled or upcycled materials.

The images are courtesy of Semba Corporation.

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Semba Good Ethical Office
Semba Good Ethical Office
Semba Good Ethical Office
Semba Good Ethical Office
Semba Good Ethical Office
Semba Good Ethical Office
Semba Good Ethical Office
Semba Good Ethical Office