Off-white walls and floors, minimalist interior, at first glance, one would feel like being in an art gallery. It is not until one looks down to discover the low sink and the tiny hand towel. GamaGarden, Gamania corporate kindergarten, located not far from the headquarters of Gamania Group, is the 2.0 version in 2017 after the Group moved to Neihu in 2016. Moved from the old site of Zhonghe to Neihu, GamaGarden has been newly upgraded from the inside to the outside with consideration to be seen everywhere.
▲ As soon as entering GamaGarden 2.0, one could see the bright white interior and the washbasin designed for children matching their height.
Redefining GamaGarden 2.0 from a Communication Perspective
“The core of Gamania Group is people. We pay attention to the communication of people, and hope that the design can also be people-oriented and touch their hearts.” Eric Chen (Ahbin), Branding Director of Gamania Group, recalled the idea when he received the work of brand identity design for GamaGarden.
▲ Director Ahbin indicates that the core of Gamania Group is people.
He went on to explain, “For Gamania Group, whether it is GamaGarden 1.0 or 2.0, visual design is always the last. The most important thing is the question— What message does GamaGarden want to communicate? This is our primary consideration when designing the brand identity.” For Gamania Group, GamaGarden is an employee benefit internally, and it is also an important bridge for employees to trust the company more. Ahbin continued, “GamaGarden symbolizes the Group’s response to the needs and expectations of colleagues, and GamaGarden 2.0 is the Group’s advanced deployment, thinking of the things for colleagues that no one has yet thought of such as a more open and child-friendly space, services that are closer to the needs of colleagues, and a more sound system. These have nothing to do with tuition fees and costs, but whether they can be close to the needs and expectations of users.”
▲ GamaGarden 2.0 uses a large number of log objects, ranging from large objects like children’s paintings, desks and chairs for class, to small items such as building blocks stacked on the floor. It is hoped that the real touch and color of the objects could be preserved as much as possible, so that children can be exposed to natural objects from an early age.
Ahbin said with a smile that Gamania Group is constantly “Dare to Challenge”, so GamaGarden 2.0 was born under this concept. “If we want to do it, we must do it the best. We have always adhered to the spirit of daring to speak and do, so GamaGarden 2.0 not only creates a miracle for Neihu Science Park, but also wins the affirmation of professionals from the inside and outside of the company. Colleagues trust the company further, and the public sector also agrees with our actions.”
From the evolution stage 1.0 to 2.0, Ahbin mentioned that “subtractive design” has always been the core concept. ” Gamania Group has been operating games for a long time, and each game has different versions. The later version seems to have more functions, but in fact, it is more intuitive and fun to play. When such a concept is applied, compared to GamaGarden 1.0, GamaGarden 2.0 integrates the interior spaces and facilities and makes them more convergent. For example, after moving to Neihu, we moved the sandpit that originally took up a lot of space outdoors and combined it with other game elements to create more possibilities for the space. For kids, it is even more fun!”
▲The outdoor sandpit combines the faucet installation art, which is both practical and beautiful.
The Interior Design Concept of “Follow the Child”
When a consensus is obtained internally and there is a consistent phrase for external communication, it is easier to find a matching interior space design. Gamania Group invited Yang Chih(Ozzie) Su (Principal Sweet Potato), Principal of ZA SHARE and CEO of Ozzie Art, to be in charge of the space design of GamaGarden 2.0. “I have been struggling on the road of education reform, and I am very happy to have won the favor of the Gamania Group and given me the opportunity to realize the avant-garde concept.” Principal Sweet Potato said.
▲ Principal of ZA SHARE Yang Chih(Ozzie) Su (Principal Sweet Potato) Photo Credit: Yang Chih(Ozzie) Su
The space of GamaGarden 2.0 is full of surprises. The first thing that amazes parents and children is, of course, the huge circular tracks, where children can run and jump to their heart’s content. The reason why parents can rest assured of their children’s safety is that the team led by Principal Sweet Potato has all safety concerns considered in advance of the parents. “When it comes to design, we still must return to the user level.
Since children are the users, safety is definitely our top priority. Therefore, not a single bumper is missed at each corner. To prevent children from rushing ecstatically off the tracks, we specially enlarged the rear of the entire space, which is also the junction to the outdoor area. When children run close to the area, they will be attracted to the outdoors or the amusement facilities placed in that space, and then slow down.”
▲ The circular tracks are spacious, and children have enough space to slow down and turn around, so accidents do not happen easily.
If we look around, GamaGarden 2.0 is indeed decorated with incredible white, which is very different from the kindergarten we expect. Principal Sweet Potato explained, “I don’t know when the idea started, but we misunderstood that children are meant to be in a colorful space. However, at the core of the Montessori method, ‘Follow the Child’ is the most important concept. If we put this concept into space design, we will know that it is wrong to force a bunch of colors on the children, and the colors should be created by the children themselves.”
▲ Without too much color interference, the task of waving the magic wand of creativity is given back to our children.
Children are the Great Artists of GamaGarden
When the space appears clean and tidy, children born with the gift to maneuver various colors can immediately decorate the entire space while entering GamaGarden 2.0. Principal Sweet Potato said, “We want to put an art museum into GamaGarden. Children are works of art, and the works they create are also artworks. For this reason, we should not create too much interference and steal their spotlight.”
In 2019, GamaGarden 2.0 won the “Taiwan Interior Design Award” of the 12th Golden Dot Award in the public space category. This award recognizes the efforts of Gamania Group and the concept of “giving space back to children and making children artists of the space”, which also confirms the idea of the brand center as well as Principal Sweet Potato.
▲ The class area of GamaGarden 2.0 is concentrated in the center of the entire space. Four classrooms can be created by low cabinets and sliding doors, or they can all be combined into one large space for activities.
While the little ones run on the circular tracks of GamaGarden, some children hide in the corner of the classroom, quietly reading books and playing with building blocks, and a few gather to draw together. These are the general scenes appearing simultaneously in GamaGarden 2.0 every day. All children have their own space and could do what they want to do freely and the whole space is their playground, studio, and tracks.
If one asks the most special thing about GamaGarden, Director Ahbin and Principal Sweet Potato will definitely say, “Every child makes this space unique.”