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Megan Buchanan

Creative Concepts Written by QUNN BRANT Founded by partners Leah Nelson and Jay Grandin in 2007, Giant Ant is a 12-person video storytelling studio located in an old storefront in Vancouver B.C.’s vibrant Chinatown. The partners designed the space to feel egalitarian, open, and not too precious. Accordingly, a concrete block wall on one side defines the long, linear workspace and three ancillary rooms clad in untreated cedar lathing flank the other. Custom-built “family tables” (where everyone works) ground the space, while floating above, Chinese lanterns pay homage to the neighborhood. Natural materials, rescued items, and a collection of unlikely but endearing furniture welcome visitors. The office was designed to be a creative, functional space for the Giant Ant team. “We have friends and clients that like to just stop by for a coffee,” Nelson says. “[And] we think that’s a good sign.” We’d agree.

Making it Work Written by QUINN BRANT

Located in downtown Seattle, coworking space MAKERS opened in 2012. Owners Caitlin Agnew and Lana Morisoli designed the space to be flexible, comfortable, and laid-back, “just like most of our co-workers,” Agnew says. MAKERS isn’t just another cookie-cutter office with generic pods and boring furniture. The duo infused the workspace with a high-end industrial vibe. They opted to keep the original brick walls and columns, refurbished the cement floors, and brought in repurposed items. Colors stay firmly in a neutral palette, but with aplomb: gray walls and columns stand in the mostly white space, dark gray floors create differentiated work areas. Private rooms, phone booths, and an open kitchen offer that easy, laid-back vibe. “People have a hard time believing that a workspace can be both beautiful and functional,” Agnew says. They obviously haven’t been to MAKERS. GRAY ISSUE No. ten

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GRAY No. 10  

The DESIGN MAGAZINE for the Pacific Northwest. GRAY spotlights the most exciting and innovative design coming out of Washington, Oregon, and...

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