So, you found the perfect house. It may have great bones or beautiful natural light or excellent proximity to nature/bars/your favorite drug store, but no matter what, something about an empty room grabbed you and convinced you to fill it with all your favorite things.
It’s a conscious decision: in many ways your living space becomes an extension or at least externalization of your being; it gives a hint at your personality, your habits, your flaws (dirty dishes) and strengths (a talent for flower arranging). This principle also applies to your work space, whether you work remotely or commute to an office. Moreover though, we think it’s a pretty good litmus test.
The thought (or lack thereof) put into a company’s functional work space can say as much about their relationship to their clients, their employees, and to the way they work, as anyone’s home can say about the way they approach life -- dirty dishes, socks on the floor, condiments-only in the fridge, and all (no judgement here, by the way).
The very birth of our current studio space closely relates to our philosophy and how we approach our work – both physically and digitally. Our decision to set up shop in West Midtown at the Goat Farm Arts Center was simple enough: we are walking distance to great food and better coffee, fueling us from dawn to dusk. The Goat Farm itself is a kooky and cozy encampment of other artists and creatives (and a few goats and chickens), acting as an artist’s haven, a commune-in-the-city, with everlasting creative energy buzzing around us.
To make our house a home, we snagged free glass from a construction site that ordered the wrong size (these panes became our back windows) and installed a wood-burning stove when our historic walls couldn’t keep out the Atlanta winter. This attitude parallels our work ethic: when we find an obstacle, we make a plan and fix it ourselves. We may be few, but we’re fierce – unafraid of getting dirty (sometimes literally) and putting all hands on deck to finish a project.
We have an open-plan layout, with long wooden desks accommodating duos of collaborators and a couple conference areas (one behind doors, two more casual and centrally located), but also a handful of enclosed offices and “phone rooms” for privacy. It’s a space organized for working separately but together, connected and collaborative when things need to be, and heads-down when it’s dig-in time.
How a team operates in their functional space also speaks volumes about how they operate with their clients and each other. We remember the old days of the dated (re: horrible, terrible) cubicle set-up with executives sequestered in segregated offices on either end of a giant room. Studies have shown that kind of hierarchical space planning creates more tension, stress, and distraction than productive work – do a quick Google search and you’ll find a myriad of think-pieces and Forbes articles on it. And there are certainly open-plan detractors, but for our purposes, being open and available to each other (all of us, even partners and creative director) is a huge factor in cranking out quality work.
But even deeper than our mere desk placement, we like to think that the investment of time and energy (both physical and mental) in hauling wood for our fire, tiling our bathroom, and creating our own cabinetry is indicative of how we approach our clients’ projects, as well.
We enjoy sharing our creations, as well – during long engagements we often host clients to work out of our space and soak up some of the juicy creative vibes constantly flowing across our design and brand journalism sides. The pops of personality we’ve tucked in the nooks and crannies of our functional work space (a sunny yellow fridge, a large paper calendar with out-of-office Post-Its on it, and of course, a special homage to our hometown via the Atlanta pennant hanging above our kitchen entryway) is reminiscent of the style-plus-functionality we instill into every deliverable. The point is, this is quintessentially us: clean and professional, fun and quirky, friendly and welcoming, and knuckle-down hard-working. It’s what we hope every guest of Edgar Allan feels when they step through our doors.
We wholeheartedly believe living space is a reflection of self, and like to use our studio as an introduction to the Edgar Allan way of life. We’re headquartered at a historic cotton gin manufacturer turned WWII-era ammunition factory turned present-day arts complex. There are goats, chickens, and other farm life roaming a little ways down the (gravel) road. And yet, across the street is the commercial heart of Atlanta’s bustling Westside, with shopping, restaurants, and great coffee. (Oh, so much great coffee. That’s important too.) It’s a mixed bag: a little eccentric, a lot exciting, and jammed full of heart. We just hope that when you open our big iron door, that comes through in our space, our vibe, and most importantly, our work.