Built downtown in the historic Exchange Building on the former stock exchange floors, Deloitte Digital just opened a state-of-the-art creative studio to merge their two existing teams of about 165 people into one, unified space.
Steve Soechtig, Deloitte Digital Experience Practice Leader, said this is the second studio Deloitte Digital designed from scratch. Seattle’s two previous locations came from the acquisition of Banyan Branch and Übermind.
To bring their ideas to life, the team worked with designers from Gensler to create this new design, which will serve as a template for all future studios.
“Both Seattle studios were creative, fun spaces to work in, and we tried to hang onto that feel while unifying the two groups,” said Soechtig.
To recreate a similar feel, the Deloitte Digital team incorporated design and technology to create a state-of-the-art studio space for both employees and clients.
“The end result is perfect for our studio and the atmosphere that we want to create between our team members.”
“We see our studios are centers for innovative problem solving, where practitioners across disciplines can tackle client challenges using the latest technologies and design thinking,” said Soechtig. “To that end, we wanted our space to foster collaborative work habits and also provide an inspiring and immersive digital experience for our clients when they come to visit.”
One of the ways Deloitte Digital was able to bring these goals to life was through shared spaces. “We have collaboration areas set throughout the office where team members can gather to ideate on a project,” said Soechtig.
Deloitte Digital also allowed team members to add elements of creativity to the space. Inside, there is a large Lite Brite wall, LEGO walls outside of meeting rooms and chalkboard walls.
The studio features what Soechtig refers to as “quiet car” which serves as a quiet, relaxing place for team members to work, an open kitchen with a natural wood table, workshop-centered rooms with 100 percent whiteboard walls and modular furniture, and almost 20 different conference and meeting rooms that all have their own, unique style. Some of those styles include Zebra Run, Game Arcade and Pool House.
There’s also a gaming area with an old Pac Man machine, a letterpress machine, garage door style conference rooms that are able to open up for large groups and events, and “Makers Space,” which serves as dedicated space for team members and engineers to experiment with new technology.
The studio also offers technology to clients, such as robots, virtual reality and beacons. Soechtig said having this technology throughout the office helps inspire clients when they visit.
Soechtig said what the studio offers to both the team and to clients is inspiration. “Particularly for our employees, we very consciously tried to provide a variety of different spaces that facilitate different work habits.”
A mural created by local artist Kyler Martz serves as the centerpiece of the studio. The idea behind the mural, Soechtig said, was to create something with an Art Deco feel as a salute to the building’s history and to incorporate hidden messages about combining two separate teams into one.
“We work with a lot of artistic people in our studio, and they had set a high bar for creative expression that we wanted to incorporate into our new space,” said Soechtig. “To do that, we wanted to pull together a special piece of art that would be a surprise to everyone working here.”
Soechtig also said they liked the message of using a local artist as part of bringing the two teams together. They found Martz through crowd-sourced recommendations from those who worked in the studio.
“The end result is perfect for our studio and the atmosphere that we want to create between our team members,” said Soechtig.
Soechtig said there were some challenges in creating this new space. One of the biggest challenges the team faced was bringing together two offices that operated differently and had contrasting cultures into one unified space. He believes the design of the studio helped smooth the transition with its open work environment.
“So while there were challenges from cultural and operational standpoints, as there are when any two groups merge, the design of our environment did a lot to make the transition much easier.”
The new designs are now heading to Austin, Chicago and New York City.