We moved into our current location at 6219 Guilford over two years ago and not much has changed since then. Sure, we have some new really cool new tables in our main collaboration space, removed a stage and painted some walls but things look pretty much exactly how they did back in May of 2013.
A peek at out DIY renovation of the "Lower Collaboratorium."
You could say we've hit a wall—literally, they're everywhere in here! How can a building with an open concept and 8,000 square feet have so many walls?! We're ready to take sledgehammer to all of them (okay, we'll leave the walls around the bathroom) but the rest—they're outta here!
Before we busted out our sledgehammers, we thought it would be a good idea to practice what we preach, and bring in some experts with outside perspective for a Discovery phase. When we start a new project with a client, we always start with an exploratory phase, where we conduct all kinds of research and get to know the problem we're trying to solve. So, when we started thinking about remodeling our offices, we contacted DORIS Research.
In a very big nutshell, they help solve, "workplace challenges by using design research to empower people to understand themselves and their relationship to the spaces in which they work." In a teeny-tiny nutshell, they help you figure out if you need to knock down that wall or leave it standing. We knew DORIS could help us figure out the really important things that need improvement and what each employee cares about most when they come to work everyday.
With each step of their 8-step process, we knew we were getting closer to the answers we needed to our biggest questions:
How can our space accurately reflect who were are as a company?
How can we accommodate new 'Boxers when we grow?
How can we create great experiences for our clients and guests?
Where can we store our stuff?!
These questions were always in the back of our mind during the 10 weeks we spent working with DORIS. Every 'Boxer participated which was key to getting the best information. Through interviews, ideation, collaboration sessions, and prototyping we had some interesting revelations.
For instance, we all agreed during early interviews and collaboration sessions that a kitchen remodel was high on our to-do list but when it came down to individual responses to a questionnaire near the end of our 10 weeks, a studio space came out on top on everyone's list and a kitchen remodel was on the bottom. WHOA! We almost knocked down the wrong wall!
A mockup of our dream office
We wrapped up our project with DORIS a few weeks ago and walked away with an Action Plan and a better understanding of our priorities and exactly where our changes need to happen. Most importantly, everyone was heard, all opinions and ideas were shared, and everyone had an impact on our plan. We're not quite ready to knock down any walls yet, we need to set some budgets and hire a designer first, but when that sledgehammer comes out we'll know exactly where to strike!