When Brand Meets Space Experience

Ilan Dray
9 min readSep 4, 2023

Over the past five years, I have been lucky to work on creating interior design for innovative spaces around the globe. From Starburst Innovation Center in France to Aqua Security’s new office in India and the New Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Clinic of Dr. Nimrod Friedman in Israel, these projects showcase how the brand meets emotions, functional design, and spatial experience.

Aqua Security New Office, Hyderabad — India

What is Space Experience, aka Spatial Experience?

A spatial experience is a multi-sensorial experience that spans built environments, people, functionality, and aims to enhance the emotional connection with the space. In my book, I defined it as an integral part of the Fusion Experience because we feel the existence and life of the environment with senses. Each aspect of the space influences our mind — the shape of what is around us, the touch of the materials, the sound of the space, the light creating the atmosphere, the smell of the air. All these work together to create space experience.

Dr. Nimrod Friedman Clinic — Surgery is Art. The surgeon is marking lines over the body to sculpt and shape a new reality.

Atmosphère! Atmosphère! Est-ce que j’ai une gueule d’atmosphère?

Following my latest conversation with one of the architects that I respect the most, my dear Dirk Heveraet from Belgium, it is important for me to sharp the definition of space experience. It’s not the decorator expertise but an emotional design expertise that takes into consideration every aspect to make you feel “at home” and feel naturally connected to the place.

“Painting is impulsive. You start with an idea, images and color, and one is ending with something unexpected. Therefore painting is in the first place emotion and selling paintings an emotional business.”

— Dirk Heveraet

Aqua Security Tel Aviv Office — Collaboration is essential to connect the team to the space.

My favorite part of working on such projects is the collaborative aspect of the job. You need to constantly communicate your vision with the stakeholders, take into consideration business parameters, follow a functional approach and have a tridimensional creative mind to project yourself in the space where life and actions will occur. The fluidity of the areas needs to work perfectly with the brand, the graphic elements, the visuals, the art and all the elements as one. The main purpose is to create a holistic experience that is in perfect connection with the product, service, and brand values. The perfect fusion between the digital world and the real space experience is the best way to connect the dots.

Fusion with top renowned architects and artists from all around the world

It’s all about Fusion with the people before to even think to Fuse with the space. My dream is to have the chance to work with Karim Rashid who has inspired me in every piece of my work until today.

Cybereason TLV Headquarter / The Nest for the Owls

Cybereason Tel Aviv Office — Black Mirror Theme Graffiti by Alex aka Tomato Zero Family from Russia

In 2017, I started to work on the visual concept for Cybereason TLV interior design in collaboration with Vered Gindi from Gindi Studios, one of the most respectful and talented architectural agencies in Israel. Back then, I literally got freestyle to express myself and explore endless possibilities to develop the brand and famous owl logo that I had designed five years before that with Inkod. It was for sure the biggest project for me with more than 4500m2, three floors, a staircase, and plans for scaling the company to more than 1000 employees.

The limitations and parameters of the space itself were a real challenge and it would have never been possible to make this vision come true without Bandel constructor.

Easter eggs were hidden all over the office to create an interactive space and gamification.

The privilege I had to meet and learn from these experts is priceless until today and I’m very grateful for that.

The office design concept is based on the Deconstructivism philosophy. This form of art manipulates structures and creates shapes that appear to distort elements of architecture. Similar to the chaos created by hackers, who manipulate the system using its existing elements to disrupt the organization.

Following the Cybereason values, we attempted to create a unique experience that breaks things apart and then connects them together. Like in the cyber world, first we break down the elements to analyze the data. Once we understand the narrative from the core, we connect it back and solve the problem.

The reflection of the lines playing with the glass and the ceiling to hack the matrix.

In the office design, we used streams of lines to represent the data running through the offices. These lines break up and connect in different points to show data connectivity. We used organic elements in the office in order to create an urban, yet organic concept which blends naturally with the office floor, walls, and ceiling. All the elements used represent connectivity in the urban world.

Download Here for Free The Cybereason Black Owl Persistent font that was created for the wall graffiti

GOODIES: Cybereason Black Owl Persistent — Graffiti Font Free to download created by Alec, Ben Gabbay and myself.

Starburst / Innovation everywhere

Spatial experience offers a beautiful canvas for creative people — I invite every creative lead to experiment and explore it. In simple words, with it you can literally disrupt and create a unique experience that is complementary to your brand and product design experience. It makes so much sense for me that they are all connected and that’s why it’s important to collaborate with an architect, interior designer and constructors. It is also closely tied to the people experience — and when all these pieces work together, it’s a perfect example of Fusion Experience.

BLAST Innovation Center in Paris XV — Powered by Starburst.aero
Playful environment in the office if the Director of the Center in Paris.
Work in collaboration with the one and only Nicolas Linder ❤ From Art school to Doodle cool!

Founded in 2012, Starburst Aerospace is the leading global Aerospace and Defense (A&D) startup accelerator and strategic advisory practice. Combining three complementary activities — accelerators, consulting, and ventures — they help aerospace and defense stakeholders innovate, navigate, and invest in the dynamic ecosystem.

Starburst is already the fifth office space that I got to design. It operates around the world and is coming soon to a new location in Midtown Tel Aviv, directed by Noemie Alliel. Since day one, we are reimagining the world of tech space together and I’m thankful for working with already more than 85 startups for Starburst Israel and Astra Program!

Daring to dream big with Noemie Alliel — Managing Director in Israel of Starburst Aerospace.

Starburst brand expansion and thinking scale make the Starburst offices recognizable from far away. A collection of more than five different Space Invaders in every office, inspiring quotes, doodles and linear drawings on this Magic Monet Blue are just a few of the visual elements making the space unique. The dynamism and actions that occur in such innovation centers force us to think in a creative and out of the box way. More surprises coming soon in the new office in Tel Aviv!

An Angel Space Invader that protects the galaxy.
Work in collaboration with the talented Munbaz Art.

Aqua Security / Be Water my friends.

Aqua Security is the largest pure-play cloud native security company, helping customers reduce risk while building the future of their businesses.

The Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform enables organizations of all sizes to detect, prioritize, and remediate risks across every phase of their software development life cycle.
We secure the cloud from code to cloud and back.

So it was natural for us to apply this holistic concept to the space experience as well. With Aqua Security’s hyper growth, we had to implement strong identity elements in our offices around the world to better connect everyone to the brand.

Space experience is a great opportunity to empower the brand on a global level and create a strong impact on the team — the one that makes them feel proud to work in a space where we care about every detail.

Our values are reflected in every Aqua Security office around the world:
WE CARE / WE ACT / WE LEAD

It was a huge honor for me to work with the team in India on the new office of Aqua Security in Hyderabad. Special kuddos to Rajeshwari Raja Narra and Rohith Manimunda for giving me complete freedom and for helping me understand your beautiful culture and the team.

Aqua means water in Lati and the organic theme is the first concept that came to my mind. We already used such materials to merge nature with the digital world when we designed the office in Tel Aviv.

Wood and organic wall create asymmetrical lines that give Aqua TLV its organic look and feel.

The Wabi-Sabi approach is felt all over our office in India, where curves meets straight lines, the meeting rooms are named on rivers and the organic colors are in fusion with our saturated brand color.

Disruptive Aqua India Office bringing to live all the organic elements in symbiose with the brand colors.

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘寂) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature. It is prevalent in many forms of the Japanese art.

The drop elements from our logo is present in our meeting rooms signs from Boston to TLV and Hyderabad.

This project wouldn’t be possible without SKOOTR Agency, who managed the project from A to Z and brought our vision to reality. Their level of expertise was a must for having a perfect holistic concept by working with acoustic experts, light and ambiance designers and a team of top experts and constructors.

Grand Opening of the Aqua India new office. Thanks Skootr! and all the team in India.

To make it even more special, we created a collection of posters for each meeting room, which will be part of Aqua NFTs collection. All the profits will go to local charity organizations in India.

The Seven Elements (the one you think is missing is in the previous picture ;)

AI is a hype, and embracing new technology is part of our essence, so we created this huge graffiti of six meters long with Midjourney! We also have a graffiti in Tel Aviv, and for me space experience is always an opportunity to collaborate with talented artists from around the world.

Be Aqua my Friends.
Graffiti in the Tel Aviv office — from Lilles to TLV with Yoram Salamon / Les Freres Salamon Agency.

Last but not least, if you come to visit our Aqua Security booth during cyber security events around the world, you will get some new cool Aqua collectible cards with all the latest findings of the Aqua Nautilus research team.

Aqua Nautilus Posters in our office in Tel Aviv.
Aqua Nautilus Posters in our new office in India.

Originally, these posters were designed for our office in Tel Aviv but now you can find them also in Boston and India!

Aqua Nautilus Research Team Collectible Cards.

Visit us at upcoming events to get your collectible cards!

GOODIES: Aqua Cloud Native Security Icons Free to download!
Check it out on Github and Clap us!
Special thanks to Dan Morgulis, who is my best partner in crime when designing Aqua Security icons ❤

Hope you enjoyed this article and stay tuned for more! Space Experience is a crucial part of the philosophy called Fusion Experience, where we connect every aspect of the experience to make it ONE.

Special Thanks to Lena Fuks for editing this article.

Fusion Experience

Fusion Experience is the secret sauce of successful tech unicorns. Now, it is revealed for the first time in Fusion Experience: A Philosophy, a limited-edition book by Ilan Dray, co-authored by Amanda Lasser. Only 500 signed Deluxe Edition copies have been printed. Check it out at https://ilandray.medium.com/fusion-experience-unboxing-the-future-of-user-experience-6d53864930d

www.fusionexperience.design

Follow Fusion Experience on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/fusionexperience

A Philosophy by Ilan Dray / Co-Writer: Amanda D. Lasser

Feel free to listen to my latest interview with Dot Lung, The Mother of Social Dragons, who invited me to present Fusion Experience to the world.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CF-Isb_JbHS/?igshid=pha2av405di

And Follow me on X (aka Twitter) for more surprises!
https://twitter.com/dray_ilan

Aspire to inspire,

Ilan

--

--

Ilan Dray

Senior Director Global Brand Experience @Aqua / Co-Founder Inkod & toDay.ventures / Mentor & International Speaker / Author of Fusion Experience / Web 3.0 Lover