Breathing Airbnb into Space

San Francisco, California 2010-2012


As Airbnb’s first office manager, Kelly established the company’s office culture and design, which have stood the test of time. Airbnb’s modest 4,500 square foot office space came first, but fast growth meant that it was soon outgrown. Next up, Kelly lead the design of 25,000 square feet in San Francisco’s design district, alongside architect Michael Garcia of Garcia Tamjidi and interior designer Kassin Adelmen of IDF Studio.

Kelly was much-loved at Airbnb. She was responsible for establishing our early office culture and design which lives on today.”

Nathan Blecharczyk,
Co-founder and CTO

Bringing the colorful platform to life in its first proper headquarters, Kelly extracted and executed the design intent of Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. To do this she sought out Kassin Adelman, Founder and CEO of interior design firm IDF Studio, to creating exact replicas of actual Airbnb listings. Meeting rooms were transformed into a Berlin artist’s flat, a modern Hong Kong apartment, a funky Soho NYC loft, and a northern California geodesic dome cabin. In addition, a flexible chef’s kitchen meant that the organic food program, started by Kelly, could flourish.

Kelly Robinson, Workplace Designer

Kelly Robinson, Workplace Designer

Traveling to 30 different countries by age 25 taught me so much about the universality of the human experience. In the early days, Airbnb’s brand slogan was “travel like a human” and when I came across it, I knew I had to work with them. The company’s ability to open doors around the world mirrors my dreams for the future: more hospitality and more connection.