37 ///// PHYSICAL AND MENTAL SPACE: THE FINAL FRONTIER?
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL SPACE: THE FINAL FRONTIER? ///// 38
GETTING AWAY Getting away from the office – whether for an afternoon “off-site,” or a week-long “inspiration trip” – can be just the trick to work through a creative road-block and keep those wheels spinning freely. MICHAEL SCHAEFFER “With actual planned off-sites for our management team, we use them more to give us a time and place where a couple of us can get together and not be interrupted. Where we can spend 100% of our time thinking about big-picture ideas. Bigger groups will give you quantity, but not necessarily the best quality. So with that type of off-site, it’s more about not being interrupted than about specific inspiration. On the other side of the coin, our designers take inspiration trips, which are usually fitness-based. That can be Crossfit, or yoga, or dance. They need exposure and need to be wellversed. But the other part, where a lot of ideas come from, is when people do something that has nothing to do with fitness or our industry. Some people on our team will go to museums, or do research on medical devices, or spend time with architects. There are no boundaries, people can be – and are – inspired by so many different things. I mean, I don’t sit around and read footwear and apparel trade magazines on the weekends for fun and inspiration!”
JAKE RIVAS “I think that, for my design team, doing things like going to a museum is just as important as hiking up a mountain. It gives you a different perspective. Experiential, physically-active trips get you into the mind of the end-user, but they can almost be too utilitarian at times. A lot of design is aesthetic and you don’t get inspired in that way from outdoor trips. That comes from looking at architecture, or art. It’s the balance that’s important.”
JULIA HU “I think off-sites are important, you can get really great inspiration by leaving the office. The reason is that when you leave the office the pressure is off for you to be truly productive. When you don’t have that pressure, you can create seedlings for important ideas, which become great next steps.”