On The Creative Floor: Dentsu

From a monthly art project in the lobby to calm, creative spaces for some 'table talk', the headquarters of Dentsu in Japan is a manifestation of the agency's ethos. It's so big it even has its own underground station. By Tatsuya Tsujinaka, Dentsu's senior creative director.

On the Creatvie Floor: Dentsu
On the Creatvie Floor: Dentsu

Dentsu in Japan is the largest single-brand agency in the world. The Dentsu spirit is spread over not only 45 floors of the headquarters in Tokyo, but also domestic branches such as Kansai and Chubu, as well as overseas offices all over the world. We work hard to make sure everyone who works for Dentsu is inspired creatively every day while respecting the uniqueness of the team spirit of each office.

We believe inspiration comes from what's around us, so we ensure our creative environment is always changing. From what's on our walls to what we exhibit in reception, we like to work in an evolving space. This all contributes to the buzz of our office.

The lobby of the HQ is a huge creative space. The building has its own underground station and the lobby is always humming with activity. Our Good Entrance, Good Innovation project has "change" as its theme and showcases a different idea each month. The event currently taking place is the Dentsu Entrance Library. One hundred employees, from our chief executive to our security guards and receptionists, each selected five books to make this library. All of the 3,000-plus daily visitors to the building, including our clients and people working with us, can take a look at the books on display.

Despite the scale of our office, we work in close-knit teams. We pride ourselves on ideas that have a down-to-earth flavour with honest feelings and a sense of humour. Our creative floor shares these characteristics - it might sometimes appear a little cluttered, but it's how we work best!

The agency was founded 110 years ago and, somewhere along the way, the phrase that translates best to "table talk" was coined - this is how we describe our creative process and it is passed down to future generations. It means that our office was designed with plenty of spaces where we can find some calm to talk.

In these creative spaces, we use tatami (traditional Japanese flooring) to create a relaxed atmosphere. Our building also has a tea-ceremony room. These are deliberately uncluttered spaces for "table talk".

In the open-plan seating where the creative teams are based, we encourage everyone to surround themselves with whatever stimulates their minds. Examples of our creative work and new innovations are stuck up all over the walls and in the surrounding corridors to trigger creative conversations.

Our working environment, the easy-to-talk atmosphere and the team spirit are an important part of defining Dentsu and help us to produce famous, award-winning work. Our creative space is key to this, but not nearly as important as the energy of the thousands of people who work here every day.