Reaching higher for ROSASpace & Interior Design + Branded Spaces + Interaction Design
The UNICEF ROSA office at Kathmandu, Nepal provides training, programs and support to eight offices in the region and other humanitarian partners, aiding field workers to carry out their mission to protect and promote children’s rights. Having previously worked on multiple communication projects for them, UNICEF approached us to design their Regional Office for South Asia in Kathmandu.
ROSA wanted us to change the internal layouts of their offices to utilize the existing space efficiently and to accommodate increased functions and productivity. The campus renovation included 8 buildings, services and other functional areas spanning over 22,320 square feet. The brand graphics were to elaborate on a theme focusing on the work ROSA does in the South Asian region with children as the face of the organization.
Our designs were built to reflect this modern world class organization, its inspiring work culture and ethics, with the Convention of the Rights of the Child as the foundation. Working concurrently on the space and graphics, our designs aimed to motivate and energize people working in the environment with a sense of pride and purpose. The brand graphics in circular brush strokes developed for ROSA were synchronous with putting children in the spotlight.
In the 40 weeks we had in Nepal, the food and weather gave us little to complain about though. Our work schedules however went for a toss with haphazard strikes, festival holidays and power cuts. It was critical for the ROSA offices to be self-sufficient. We strove to incorporate sustainable technology by installing solar panels on the roof which were connected to the electric grid. By finding a solution both environment and climate sensitive, critical facilities like ICT equipment, lights, fans and appliances were powered without interruption. A sense of pride and ownership was instilled through a welcome degree of order, working comfort and visual coherence. As UNICEF works with many different nations, it was imperative to bring a cohesive structure by combining various elements of South Asian culture through textures, colours and ambience. In the design of spaces, we maintained this continuity, and further infused it through graphic installations.
The Master Installation at the entrance reception represents ROSA’s motto to bring everyone together to fight for children’s rights. The word UNITE appears in 8 different regional languages made in three dimensional modules alongside images of children superimposed on the map of South Asia.
Sub Master Installations were planned, one in every building. Photographs of children in action express the rights of every child in these lively installations. The composition is a play of words, representative of the actions, written in regional languages.
Modular Graphics and articles make links throughout the building. These images of children that aim to leave deep impressions on the viewer are interspersed with UNICEF’s FFL icons. The Article on Conventions of the Rights of the Child on the wall is accompanied by a meaningful description.
Cafeteria Graphics allowed us to explore a large hand-drawn illustration on the wall. The bountiful tree laden with fruits from all over South Asia embodied abundance and good health.
Since the campus was on an old site, we overcame many construction hitches. Our sleepless nights in Kathmandu and tough climbs to completion gave us that exhilarating ending at the peak – the ROSA employees were ecstatic about the new design. We successfully opened up spaces to create an uplifting experience and as a result people felt great about coming to a positive energy workspace. We managed to strike a delicate balance between creating an environment to reflect the philosophy and professionalism of UNICEF and bridging the multicultural ethos of the regions of South Asia. We unified every aspect of the ROSA Campus from parking signage, colour schemes to environmental graphics and furniture to make UNICEF ROSA the vibrant space it is today.
“Thanks for doing a tremendous job with ROSA. Every single day I am happy that we did the big change.” – Karin Hulshof, Regional Director for South Asia, UNICEF