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Happy Place

A physical or psychological space, in which all worries escape you and you’re left feeling energized, warm and fuzzy. For us, a community event full of music, ink, and collaborative creation is just that.

Last month we hosted Happy Place in our downtown Portland office. Appropriately, the theme of the night was “happiness.” We rolled out long pieces of crisp, white paper and scattered pens, pencils, markers and brushes throughout. As the music began to play, we began drawing our perceptions of happiness. As the night went on, individual pieces started flowing into collaborative works, each with a unique blend of color and style.

The photos here archive the creations and show the wonderful community that made them possible.

Stay tuned for our next Happy Place events happening in February and April.

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How creative is your office space?

I was interested in an article I found on CMO.com by Sofie Sandell. Her beat is the cross between the new digital world and creativity. There are a lot of those gurus out there. But there was a particular part of her piece about creativity and the office space and how it informs how open to innovation and creativity we are as a culture. Recently Leopold Ketel revamped our own office space and we decided to do something with our display windows. You can see the result above. We’re still working on our interior but the high ceilings and the brick walls say “creative” every time someone walks in the doors.

Here is the relevant quote from the article:

As a professional speaker I travel a lot and visit both new hotels and new businesses all the time. One of the things that you pick up on when you enter a building is the art and symbols on display. Last week I visited a government agency that is trying its best to be creative. The office looks great and wouldn’t look out of place in an interior design magazine. But something was missing. There were no symbols that I could connect with the people working there.

The opposite is Twitter’s London office. When you enter reception you see two big art pieces that are made up of the tweets of the people working there. It looks great and it’s a clear symbol that the people working there matter. It gives them freedom and the right to express themselves.

Art and symbols give us a sense of belonging and identity and if they are effective they support the way we work together.

In my discussion with Derek Cheshire he also said: ‘Visualize walking into a nursery for children; the children’s art is all over the walls. It makes the place feel alive and makes all of the children visible. Imagine if you could do the same in a workplace.’

You can find more here

Our holiday card to the city

This was the first window dressing we designed for our building. It was a little controversial but we got lots of great comments.

Doodlin’ in a meeting

Doodlers are more engaged during a meeting and retain more information. Especially when the meeting is boring. Here’s proof.