Studio Black

Finalist 2018

The first Korean co-working brand of its kind, Studio Black is an amenity-driven workshop and incubator studio that embodies a fully-integrated brand ethos while celebrating the process of craft, connectivity and the lessons found in failure.

In a world where the changing work culture demands collaboration and flexibility, co-working spaces are in increasing demand in the US and Europe. With this model yet to hit Asian markets, Hyundai Card sought Gensler’s design services to create a unique revolving space to cultivate new ideas and cater to entrepreneurs in Hyundai Card’s related industries. Differentiating itself through its breadth of hospitality-like amenities, exemplary service and distinct lifestyle brand, Studio Black’s unique brand positioning showcases fluid productivity and creativity in its design, while its typology extracts meaning from familiar objects to describe the journey in the process.

The design inspiration was taken from the qualities and characteristics of entrepreneurial startups. Gensler sought to tap into the authentic voice of the creative mindset, a “no pain, no gain” mindset where understanding that failure is success in progress. The design team took inspiration from the familiar analogue scenes of a copy room, where Xerox copy failure sheets and shredded raw documents underscore ideation in progress and culture. Influenced by a unique 2D and 3D puzzle typology, the design team integrated Studio Black’s unique brand ethos through multiple scales and finishes, both tectonic and graphic, appealing to entrepreneurial spirit. Like a Rubik’s Cube consisting of a grid of multi modules, piecing together to solve a puzzle, the co-working spaces consist of members who work for a range of difference companies, ventures and projects, working together as one community under the Studio Black brand.

The design team identified a new typography and logo for the brand, choosing a traditional serif font with a contemporary twist, communicating the brand’s message in a clear and striking manner. In the lobby, Studio Black’s logo illuminates through black metal panels, expressing the inspired nature of the breakthrough space.

Design Firms: 



Hyundai Card

Project Area: 

35,219 sq ft

Open Date: 

October 2016

Photo Credits: 

Nacasa & Partners Inc. (photography)

Design Team: 

Sabu Song (architectural design), Siyun Oh (design), Jonny Peterson (design), Julius Bhang (technical design)

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