July 9th to 13th
We spent quite some time this week discussing plans for our new office. From basic questions like how we want our workspace to feel and function to very specific matters like choosing wood paneling and door handles.
This move is a first for us. As I wrote in a previous weeknote, we never had a "real" office space. When it dawned on me what such a move really means (investing a lot of money, negotiating with landlords, talking to an architect and making hundreds of small and big decisions within a very short time frame), i felt a little overwhelmed. We never did it before, we had no experience, I was afraid to make momentous mistakes.
But when I framed it as a design problem, I felt much more comfortable. That's what we do all day long. That's what we are good at. So now I try to think of our new office more like a design project using the tools and methodologies we are familiar with. Which also means that we don't have to determine everything beforehand. Sure, there are things that have to be decided now which will have a huge and lasting impact. Like choosing the right software architecture for a digital product, we now also have to make some architectural decisions that will influence the space heavily and it would be hard or extremely costly to alter it.
But everything else must be designed in a way that is flexible enough to change or adjust. If we use similar processes we use in our design projects, I'm sure the studio will turn out great.
One thing we often preach to our clients at the beginning of a project: don't blow your whole budget at once. Don't spend everything to build it, but save some money to make adjustments and improvements once you have enough experience with your website/app/service/product. The same goes for our office: first we need a MVS, a minimum viable space, and then build upon that.
Another method we are using a lot in our projects and which we should apply to our new space is prototyping. We were talking about shelves that should serve as a room divider. But how high should those shelves be? How much is enough to give a feeling of privacy, without isolating the people behind it? Things like that could be easily prototyped with some improvised room dividers made out of paper or cardboard.
With this mindset I feel much more comfortable with planning a new office space. We don't have any experience with interior design, but often we don't have a lot of experience with the subjects, technologies or environments of our client projects either. But these are often the most interesting projects with the best results.
In other news, David finished the magazine cover. It turned out pretty kool and we look forward seeing it printed and distributed to the newsstands, which I think, will happen in September.