What Really Happens In Facebook's Tiny Conference Room?

Tech companies are known for having offices that challenge the white-walled cubicle norm. You've heard about the cafeterias with free food galore, but what about the streamer-decorated corners created for photo ops and spaces for building Lego kingdoms? In this recurring series, we'll take you inside the ridiculously fun rooms at start-ups and mega tech companies that will make you want to submit your résumé, stat.

Almost everyone who comes to visit Facebook's New York headquarters requests to see one specific conference room.

In most respects, the in-demand room resembles all other conference rooms in the office — one wall is covered with a whiteboard, the center table opens up to reveal the same USB ports and plugs, and there is a screen on another wall for presentations. Sounds standard enough, no? But what sets it apart is that this room is small — really small.
Photo: Rachel Cabitt.
Welcome to Facebook New York's miNY room, which, at 5.5 feet by 4.5 feet, is officially the tiniest room in the entire office. Step inside, and you'll feel like Lewis Carroll's Alice after she consumed the "Eat Me" cake and grew far bigger than her surroundings.

The idea for the miNY room came from Ji Lee, Facebook's Creative Strategist, who was searching for the New York equivalent to the Gravity Room, a popular space in Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters, where the furniture is installed on the wall. The odd positioning makes guests look as though they are astronauts floating in space, and it's become an Instagrammable hot spot.

"We didn't have enough space to construct the Gravity Room [in New York]," Lee says. "It struck me that maybe we could do our own version of the Gravity Room, which is the miniature room, because, as you know, New York is limited in space, and everyone has an apartment that's the size of a shoebox."
Photo: Rachel Cabitt.
The magic of the miNY room lies in its customization. Everything from the lighting and table to the carpet perfectly matches the rest of conference rooms throughout the office. The room's seating, a mini blue couch and Eames chair, was purchased from children's furniture stores. And for the signs that line the walls, Lee took inspiration from Facebook's iconic poster culture. The company's Analog Research Laboratory uses a printing press to design all of Facebook's internal messaging, creating posters with playful quotes and images as well as inspirational messages from Mark Zuckerberg. Lee had the Lab create tiny, punny posters for the miNY room with phrases like "Mini Likers Gonna Mini Like" and "THINK small."

Since its construction two years ago, the miNY room has earned cult-like status on Instagram. This is largely due to the influence of Eva Chen, Instagram's head of fashion partnerships (and former editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine), who has brought her celeb visitors, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Karlie Kloss, Toast Meets World, and Westworld's Ben Barnes into the room for their own Instagram moments.

We talked about v important things @toastmeetsworld

A photo posted by Virginia Nam (@ginnynam) on

"The miNY room is the perfect Instagram experience," Chen says. "Obviously, it's a square, so it fits the Instagram format, but it also shows a sense of humor. It's funny, quirky, and not something you see every day."

Other Facebook offices have also sought to get in on the miNY fun. Menlo Park now has its own version, there is a très chic miniature studio in Paris, and a tiny office in Tokyo that was designed to look like a Japanese tea room (guests take off their shoes before entering and sit on tatami mats).
And in 2016, Instagram debuted the first tiny offices outside of Facebook's corporate locations. Both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions had mini Oval Offices complete with presidential seal, Lincoln bust, and American flag.

#TBT to @Facebook's mini Oval Office at the #RNCinCLE!

A photo posted by Katie Couric (@katiecouric) on

While the miNY room isn't the most functional of Facebook New York's conference rooms — people only occasionally use it for real meetings — it is by far the most creative and playful representation of company culture. Get a photo in there and you'll know you've reached Influencer-level status. Or, at the very least, that you've occupied the same space where Carrie Bradshaw once sat.

More from Tech


R29 Original Series