Design Office

Designing the Oakland, CA and Washington D.C offices for Free Range Studios, was an exploration into the world of bringing a brand to life through interior design. I learned a lot from working with this intensely creative design studio and my clients and I consistently inspired one another. How great to design with people who wanted their work place to reflect their values, their great sense of fun, and their truly compelling media.

process

Free Range brought me in at the beginning to help them relocate from two offices that they had outgrown. They wanted a workspace that had good light, access to public transportation, an open floor plan, and that felt, well, funky. After surveying all of the Free Rangers on their needs, desires, and goals for their new office space, I was able to narrow down the search and hit the pavement to help them relocate. Once we found the right space, the next stage was to bring their brand to life in the interiors. The company was going through a rebranding at the time, so I was able to intimately watch their process and then grab inspiration where I needed it.

approach

Their iconic orange chicken became an accent color I used repeatedly: in the foyer LZF’s light fixtures, in pillows, a FLOR rug, and in art. As a socially responsible business, Free Range works hard to be mindful of environmental impact, and this was at the foundation of so many of our design choices. I selected furniture from HON and Steelcase, two pioneering companies in sustainable design and manufacturing. We did a number of art installations: a staff portrait wall that showcases the unique personality of each individual working there, a bathroom wall dedicated to chicken art, and an amazing wall that features Free Range’s archetypes for brand development. With a neon sign, a dart board, and white board paint everywhere, this is the kind of office that people walk into and want to go to work in — even people who don’t work there!

before

The California office had once been an old paper factory and the DC office, a renovated car factory. Both spaces were raw and industrial to begin with but were renovated to marry the old with the new. My favorite part of this design job was trying to figure out how to keep the old elements in harmony with the modern build out: antique brick and plaster walls were left uncovered, heating and venting ducts left exposed, floors were patched in a way that looks earthy and worn.

inspiration

At the foundation of the design scheme was the brand and identity of Free Range.  I looked at their own design to borrow inspiration for their space: a birthday wheel that they spin on each employee’s birthday, their deck of “Archetype Cards” used to brand clients, and lastly, their logo. I then presented them with three design boards to show them where I thought we could go with their furniture, color palette, and decor. I named these boards after their own archetypes — the Alchemist and the Pioneer — and our design scheme was born once they selected the former. I married this design scheme with the raw spaces that I was working with — the brick walls, the weathered wood floors, and the exposed ducts. I used a lot of orange, wasabi green and metals, wanting both offices to feel electric and stimulating, playing off the dynamic personality of the company itself.