At mono, we believe that true innovation starts with transparency, simplicity, and collaboration. These beliefs guided the design of our new office, the third since our company’s founding in 2004.
While we’re excited about our recent growth, we’ve always been mindful of growing in the right ways. To us, growth is about opportunity: taking on interesting and challenging business problems; developing a wide range of innovative ideas for clients from Target to Harvard Business School.
We have always believed that our space is one of the most important tools in creating a culture and mission focused on innovation. We designed our new space to protect our culture and values, and these values guided much of our new office design.
Ideas have always been the main focus of our agency. The entire agency is united in this focus by The Wall, 150 feet of glass designed to foster and inspire a collaborative and productive work model.
The Wall is where the team’s thinking happens; it’s where briefs are posted, strategies sharpened, and ideas born and nurtured. It’s also a place where everyone has input, regardless of level or role, because we believe that great ideas come from everywhere.
An open workspace
Our belief in collaboration and transparency is reflected in an open workspace designed to foster connections and encourage interactions.
Everyone sits together on one floor. “Nooks” and meeting spaces along the walls provide spaces where people can meet or have impromptu conversations. There are no places to hide — no war rooms, secret getaway spaces, or offices with doors to close. Even the conference rooms are surrounded by glass windows with views only blocked by blue doors, a throwback to the signature blue doors of the original mono office.
The space has no division between strategy and creative, creative and production, or production and account management. More importantly, we wanted to create an honest, open, and welcoming space where people are encouraged to connect and interact.
The kitchen at mono is one of the most important spaces. Many people who worked on the project questioned mono’s decision to dedicate a large amount of square footage to “unusable” space. But, to us, the kitchen is critical.
With its top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and 50-foot maple table, the kitchen provides a space where the whole team can gather socially to cook and eat. And as an agency, it’s suitable for everything from company-wide meetings to reviewing decks and discussing upcoming work. It’s used all day as a place for people to come together.
“Simpler is better”
Michael Hart, Jim Scott, and I founded mono with the belief that simpler is better. So ultimately, we didn’t design our space to project a certain image or create a “cool” space; instead, we designed the space for functionality and innovation.
Unlike many agency offices that sport trendy themes or quirky artwork, mono has an open, minimal office built around people — and helping them do their jobs better. During the design effort, we had to make a lot of tough decisions, push back on norms, and say “no” to taking the easy route.
Simple isn’t easy.