What makes the studio unique? "Really loud music! We have an open plan in the creative department, and lots of conversations happen with everyone. We all have a great rapport, and we discuss all kinds of things, from politics to design, as a group. For some reason the business people upstairs prefer it quieter."
The design of the office serves the hierarchy of decision making at the Design Group. "There are three executives who make the important decisions: myself (as creative director), Chris Lowery (minister of the environment and production manager), and James Bradley (president). Sometimes we all agree, which makes things easy, but there's often a lot of conflict between us that we have to talk through. This leads to better decisions. James believes very strongly that a conflict-free business is the wrong goal. We embrace conflict as essential and a sign of life," adds Chase.
In addition to these decisions at the top, everyone in the office is encouraged to express his or her opinions about each project. Chase notes, "Even a bad or stupid-sounding idea may trigger something great. As creative director, I spend a lot of my time talking to designers about the work they are doing to make sure that they are really thinking things through and looking at their solutions from every angle."