A shipping container in the kitchen. Graffiti on the walls. Wood pallets in the lobby. A hopscotch court on the floor. This is the Chicago office of DigitasLBi and while it “may seem crazy when you walk into it,” says Chicago and San Francisco President Doug Ryan, “there is method to the madness.”
The challenge with creating a space for a national ad agency is striking a balance between inspirational and ready for input, fixed and malleable, eccentric and functional. But the Digitas space is a function of its culture and was designed to reflect it. The culture is based on three values: teamwork, creativity, and resourcefulness, and the space helps to promote all three.
Open areas and smaller alcoves allow for planned collaboration and spontaneous encounters. Splashes of color and a myriad textures provide a constant source of inspiration and like a never-ending treasure hunt, the smallest nooks and crannies have surprises for those willing to search. And a tech-enabled environment and easy access to coworkers allows employees to come together with colleagues across the way as easily as clients across the country.
Despite being on multiple floors, the company has created a sense of community, not just across the organization but within it – and these interwoven threads keep the DigitasLBi family close, a unity which has proven key in the competitive world of advertising.
Stemming from the culture and being driven by it, the space has created a platform to promote and build the spirit of DigitasLBi. And the culture is a priority to ensure the agency stays strong. “For us, culture is more than just an add-on,” says Ryan. “It’s key to making us successful.”