At Work: Spacejunk Media’s space allows for easy collaboration

When Spacejunk Media moved from their Clintonville offices in 2009 to their current space Downtown at Third and Hickory, they tripled the size of their space – from 1800 square feet to about 5400. They have also grown their staff and are now up to 17 people.

Custom painting in the lobby

“When we were in our old space, we had three cordless phones. We used to joke that when a call came in, whoever answered it would be the one taking on the job,” said Managing Director Mike Blosel.

[Read about how Spacejunk Media got started]

With the company’s growth, one of the challenges was figuring out the workflow. Now, they had to figure out who was best for what parts of the job and how the job should move around the company – stay with one person from start to finish or move through several people. That is where Creative Directors Mike Beaumont and Jeff Boddy come in. While they each have their own talents and contribute to projects, when a new job comes in, they analyze it and decide who will be the best artist for the project.

Boddy had been working at Spacejunk and then left to spend some time in Los Angeles working for some of the bigger creative studios. He returned to Spacejunk two years later with ideas on how they could improve their work pipeline. It was a great way to figure out what would work best for them.

Sliding glass doors make collaboration easy

At any time, Spacejunk will typically have about 20 jobs that are being worked on. The Downtown space, which formally housed the Eagle nightclub, was built with collaboration in mind. Managing Director Robb Dierken worked closely with Karen Dwyer and Shawn Conyers of Meyers + Associates Architecture to achieve the perfect look, usage and feel of the space.

“I really like mid-century design and also wanted to keep the history of the building,” said Dierken. He did a lot of research for ideas and inspiration came from everywhere. “The exposed wood you see in the conference room was an idea that came from Northstar CafĂ©.”

Eagle Night Club suffered a fire and the damage can still be seen in the wood floors that remained. However, it was a look the Spacejunk team liked and they had the floors refinished as best they could, then repositioned them along half of the space, lengthwise. The burn marks really add character to the floors.

Many of the offices and editing suites have sliding glass panels between them. Having them closed allows work to be done quietly, and being able to slide the doors open allows for easy collaboration.

In the back of the space is the motion graphics area where the desks are aligned to allow collaboration.

It creates a real feel of people working together instead of just coming to a job and getting it done. In fact, many of the employees love the space so much that someone can usually be found there, sometimes working at any hour since most of the work is deadline-based. They have also hosted company parties in their space.

Conference room table inspired by the Eames Elliptical Table and built by Matt Shott

The break out area is equipped with Rock Band (which led to people getting and learning real instruments) and a kitchen that has a fun tile backsplash of Space Invaders.

Space Invaders tile backsplash

The space took some time to find. Their search led them to several areas of town. They looked in the Short North, Grandview, and Downtown to name a few. One of the things they wanted most for their new space was an area to do in-house shoots. That requirement was limiting their search to buildings and spaces that were very big or needed a lot of work. After the contract fell through on a space they were nearly close to signing for, they re-evaluated their needs and then found the Eagle space. As it turned out, it had enough room to have the shoot space put in it.

The much wanted in-house shooting space

The entire build-out took between 4-5 months. The new space also came with the added bonus of a common-space rooftop patio which provides wonderful views of Downtown. “It’s nice to be Downtown and we are happy to be a part of the revitalization of Downtown,” shared Mike Beaumont.

Great views of Downtown

Some of Spacejunk’s favorite technologies to use include iChat and Skype. Those have allowed Spacejunk to collaborate with other studios and to work seamlessly. The move to digital has increased their productivity and turn-around time on projects. Previously, videos and such had to be burned to DVD then couriered or FedEx’ed to the client and there was much back and forth. Now, things can be sent digitally and changed can be made almost immediately. They also enjoy the 37signals suite of products. Adobe and apple products are also used.

Spacejunk is dog-friendly, but these other friends like to hang around as well

Staying small and nimble has been important to Spacejunk. While they do use new equipment, they prefer to rent it instead of investing in it. That allows them to produce products to fit their client’s needs and desires best, instead of being forced to do a project based on expensive equipment they have invested in.

The Spacejunk Team. L-R Front: Rich Seemueller, Mike Beaumont, Mike Nelson, Jeff Boddy, Dan Wineland. L-R Back: Deanna Stevens, Kayla McIntyre, Mike Blosel, Marco Cardenas, Nick Courts, Kurt Keaner, Kevin Harrison, Commander Karl, David Ball, Andrew Schneider, Robb Dierken. Not pictured: Chris Schoenman, Kelly Sells

Spacejunk Media is located at 232 N. Third St., Columbus, OH 43215.
You can like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter. One of their latest finished projects was 10 how-to videos for Jeni Britton Bauer’s new book Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. The videos are included in the enhanced eBook version.

Resource List:

Continental Office Environments for many of the Herman Miller products

Eurolife Furniture

SciFi posters and toys – mostly Robb Dierken’s personal collection. Similar items may be found at Rivet – Designer Toy and Art Gallery

Midwest Photo Exchange, Ohio HD Video & The Backlot for cameras and more

Meyers + Associates Architecture for the build-out

Ikea for kitchen cabinets

 

Do you know of, have, or work in a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, please contact Anne Evans.