Our New (Magazine-Worthy) Studio Space

October 6, 2015
Our New (Magazine-Worthy) Studio Space

When we first starting looking for a bigger space in the Whyte Avenue area of Edmonton, our hopes were really high. We wanted to stay in the area after spending years building up friendships and favourite haunts. A lot of not-quite-right spaces came up that were either too far from the core or just didn't have the right vibe. Then we found it. A perfect building in our area, just a few steps from our favourite coffee shop.

We've spent the past year waiting on contractors, cooking up ideas and completing daunting DIY projects. Now mostly complete, our 3 floors of  office give us around 7500 square feet of designed working and collaboration space.

This August, Avenue magazine decided to do a piece on the space as we were nearing completion. It was a first for them to do a story on an office space—we were excited to be the guinea pigs.

Main Floor: Collaboration, Accounts & Strategy

We use the main floor for meetings, workshops, collaboration and as a home for the accounts and strategy department. It's open and bright with lots of space to move around and get creative with bigger groups. Two glass-walled meeting rooms provide privacy for large and small sessions. We furnished the studio with great local (and internet) finds as well as a number of pieces designed by staff or friends.

A big open space that inspires creativity and collaboration; Painting by Glen Ronald; coffee table by Micah.

Painting by Glen Ronald; shelves imagined by Seth and built by Dan Bidne.

An ambitious wall patterned with wooden triangles—in the end Seth (and many others) helped make it happen; table by good friends Concrete Cat and Oliver Apt.

Standing desks imagined by Seth and the team, built by Dan Bidne.

Upper Floor: Design & Dev

Our upper floor is base to our design and development departments and also holds our kitchen and balcony areas. The space is flooded with natural light from the east and the south facing rooftop patio. When we designed the space, we knew everyone couldn't be on the same floor, but we wanted to ensure the creative and technical teams could be near each other to maximize collaboration.

Our big, bright kitchen is perfect for group lunches or work sessions.

Everyone (except one) decided it was time to try standing up; we built custom desks from pipe fittings and bamboo wood desk tops. Our upstairs lounge area provides a cozy place for people to grab their laptop and take a break from standing.

The Dev Corner sits behind the yellow walls and acts as a stylish cave of sorts for our backend developers. A 'Code Wall' art installation was imagined and built by Ashia, who has been featured on Wagtail's blog.

Basement: "The Bunker"

Our basement is a work in progress, but we love it. Right now, it mostly houses our foosball table (a thing of reverence for us) as well as a rented band space and workshop area. The long term goal is to be able to host larger groups for design thinking sessions. We're working to make the space really creative, but raw—the kind of space that inspires but isn't so fancy that you aren't willing to get messy.

Letting off a little steam is important to doing great work; our hyper-hacked foosball table courtesy of Scott, Adrian and

The bunker is a work in progress, but it's coming along; whiteboards, movable tables, screens and sticky-boards are all in production; it won't be long before we're hosting sessions and solving problems

It feels like home.

Now that we've been able to really infuse ourselves into this space, it really feels like Lift. There will always be ideas and ways to improve how we use our space, but that's what we love. Evaluating our own user experience and applying our design and thinking skills to this building has been challenging and rewarding. And we've done a pretty phenomenal job, if we do say so ourselves.

Come on by for a visit.

Micah Slavens
With over 20 years of experience designing and directing projects in the digital space. While being our fearless leader at Lift.
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