Rachael & Aaron Harvey: Airbnb Environments: Belonging in the Open Plan

Imagine a call center with no cubicles, no traditional desks, and no phones. What if, instead, you could design an office defined by freedom and comfort that is also an effective and functional place to work every day. That’s exactly what Aaron and Rachael Harvey did for Airbnb’s award-winning Portland Call Center—and what they’re doing for other Airbnb offices around the world. Agents in the Portland call center have a work environment that’s a lot like a great Airbnb travel listing, bringing the experience of traveler and agent closer together—and making it easier to provide those travelers with a great customer experience. In this core conversation, Aaron and Rachael will share the philosophy and design process they use to redefine work environments in much the same way that Airbnb redefined travel.

Delight 2015 | Airbnb Environments: Belonging in the Open Plan from Delight Conference

About Rachael & Aaron Taylor Harvey
After four years of running Myriad Harbor, a design studio focused primarily on commercial  interiors, Rachael and Aaron co-founded the Airbnb Environments team in April 2014, which works to link culture and facilities into an ongoing, meaningful and effective workspace experience.

Rachael is interested in how architectural moves, both big and small, affect the measure of pleasure and function in space. She has first-hand experience in the act of creating, from the mouse to the hammer. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture, with honors, from California College of the Arts. She has spoken at UC Berkeley and the Swiss Institute in New York. Her contributions to exhibitions include: Zer01 San Jose Biennial, Studio for Urban Projects, and 2009 AIA National Convention. She has contributed to various designs in a variety of mediums for Airbnb, from miniature 3D printed models of actual listings on the site to an urban park‐like event space, replete with an “outdoor” theater for a three-day company gathering.

A strong advocate for designing in the third and fourth dimension, Aaron believes architecture should build personal narrative and transform the everyday. He does not design for photos but rather for people. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University and a Master of Architecture degree from California College of the Arts. He was an adjunct professor at California College of the Arts from 2010‐2014 in the Architecture Department and First Year Core.