Honey, I Shrunk the Office!

Creative Agency Worker Sums Up the Highs and Lows of Office Life in Witty Mini Dioramas

We all get bored at the office sometimes. The quirks and office politics seem to just be a fact of life for white-collar workers. If only we all responded to them as creatively as Derrick Lin. His Miniature Office series captures the essence of what it means to work at a creative agency in charming and playful scenes populated by mini-figurines.

“I have been collecting miniature figures as a hobby for a while,” says Derrick. “In the fall of 2013, I used a figure to enter my company’s internal Instagram contest and won. My co-workers encouraged me to turn it into a series”.

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And Derrick hasn’t looked back since then. He’s been posting a new scenario that takes a sideways glance at ad-agency life on a weekly (sometimes more!) basis ever since. But their appeal goes beyond Derrick’s own industry with moments of pathos and humour which many an office worker will relate to.

In between meetings, emails and coffee breaks, we managed to get Derrick to tell us some more about the project:

The Plus: What is it about office life that seems to inspire so much humour and creativity?
Derrick Lin:
I noticed that people generally avoid complaining about their job on social media since we are expected to act like adults and deal with our stress in private. The stress in the advertising industry that I am in is even more chaotic and unpredictable than some.

I have always been amazed how a change of perspective can change how we feel about things, so I challenged myself to turn those minor annoying work situations into beautiful and humorous visual stories.

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The Plus: Do you have a favourite scene you’ve created?
I have many favourite photos. To name a few, the one with a backpacker by the window on a flight, the one titled “selfie”, and the one about trying to get a taxi in New York City. My most recent favourite is the one with flying papers.

TP: What do your co-workers (and boss!) make of this?
My co-workers are very intrigued by my project. They help me find props, suggest photo shoot locations, and they volunteer to be the models of my photos.

TP: What do you do in between setting up figures in little dioramas?!
I work! Events during my work week are my inspirations for the series. So naturally the harder I work, the more topics I collect for photos.

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TP: They may be tiny, but this thing seems to have legs. Can you see an end in sight?
Certainly. While my job has abundant materials for my series, I can see myself ready for a different creative challenge in the future. So far I am still very much enjoying creating those whimsical scenes and I have learned a lot in photography and the creative process as well as sharing my project with people around the world.

TP: Any grand plans? A Hollywood blockbuster version, perhaps?
I continue to experiment with more ways to depict work moments and I started working with brands on collaborations. I would love to turn my collection into a book in the near future.

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