Entries in Creative Spaces (2)
Lee and I hit the road last week, visiting Manchester and London to interview some of the folk involved in a new project with Hyper Island (more on this soon). In the course of three days we visited the offices of Amaze, Channel 4, Code Computerlove, Dare, McCann-Erickson, MTV and Wieden + Kennedy. For us it was an opportunity to have loads of fascinating conversations, some fun with our new video camera (again, more on this soon), and time to reflect on why offices in the world of digital are so very cool.
In the final days of 2010 (it seems a million years away to us now) the team here at Hebe Media spent a few hours dreaming about the kind of 'work space' we want be in. Don't get us wrong, it's not that we don't like our existing office (it's been a good friend since we opened for business last year), but the fact that it is "an office" is precisely the challenge we need to overcome.
Walking into somewhere like Dare, with all its unfinished ply and exposed concrete, and employees sharing lunch over a ping pong tournament; or the Eastend offices of Wieden + Kennedy, with their cycle filled reception and air of independence; or Code's canal side dwelling that hosts a sizzling BBQ whenever the Manchester weather allows, you definitely don't get the sense that this is just another office. Furthermore, you get a distinct impression that the space isn't just a part of a clever branding exercise: these spaces seem to embody, and simultaneously make possible, the particular culture of each organisation.
Lee has written about our work with Hyper Island on a number of occasions. One of the many reasons we enjoy our work with the Swedish-born school of all things digital is that we 'get' their methods. Post-it packed walls, working through 1,000's of ideas (even when they are terrible... mostly mine, I think) to find the few that fit, and using noise and energy as a lubricant for getting to great solutions. Adopting these methods requires a culture of openness, where mess and discontinuity are a part of the furniture. In turn we need a space that matches up to that culture. A space that is a fundamental part of our culture.
We think the Hebe office needs to be bigger and brighter, one space that is made of many kinds of different spaces. Make it happen space, relax space, reflect space, test space, mess space, retail space, gallery space, meeting space, drinking coffee space, play space, social space, party space, and so on. We also think that this is a space that we would want to share with others, so that our culture can cross fertilise. We want to start when we start, finish when we finish, and hang out when our brains can't take any more. In short, we want a creative space.
This is our dream. We hope to realise it in 2011, and we want anyone who shares this dream to join us. You know where to find us!