Equator Design, a rapidly growing global packaging design and branding agency, recently created their dream creative workspace in the prestigious Civil Opera House, a landmark building in downtown Chicago.
Designed in collaboration with the architects and interior designers at Eastlake Studio, the open space is perfect for Equator’s trademark “design to shelf” process, allowing them to continue delivering their beginning-to-end solutions under one roof. It was also specifically designed to allow the 90 team members to view and discuss the design work in progress. [Check out more cool designer workspaces.]
“The space is the realization of the company ethos,” says U.S. Global Creative Director and partner Michael Duffy.” It’s so successful because it makes the whole way we work very visible. This has been key to being able to bring new staff up to speed on our process and culture very quickly, which is so important when working within the fast-paced private brand world.”
One particularly unique component of the space is a giant 60-foot octopus whose tentacles wind around the office and connect to pin-up areas to provide a visual explanation of Equator’s design process. The octopus was inspired by the studio’s global workflow tool Octopus.
Visual artist and muralist Jason Brammer, along with one of Equator Chicago’s designers, Kasi Turpin, created the wall art. Viewers will notice that one tentacle holds a British phone box as a nod to the company’s U.K. heritage, and another holds a Chicago hot dog to represent home.
“This was a wonderful collaboration as we had a strong handle on the creative vision and spoke the same language,” says Tom Zurowski of Eastlake Studio, which specializes in the design of great places to work. “We’re all creatives—there was a chemistry that enabled us to deliver this project within the tight schedule and on budget.” The Eastlake project team included Tom Zurowski, Kevin Kamien and Nicole Tabata, all of whom worked interchangeably throughout the process to manage the design, construction, furniture and branding integration.
Check out the video below for a time-lapse of the mural creation by Jason Brammer:
All photos of Equator Design’s workspace by Steve Hall of Hedrich Blessing