These days, everything is content. So, when well-known agency The Barbarian Group got a new office, the agency's staff turned the occasion into a chance to make an interesting, sure-to-get-passed-around video. But if you live by the content sword, you must be prepared to be gently skewered by it.
When the video tour of its new office space was posted online a few months back, it drew oohs and aaahs from the marketing, design, and business types all across the Internet. Barbarian chairman Benjamin Palmer and CEO Sophie Kelly show off a striking new Clive Wilkinson-designed space, the centerpiece of which is an enormous, white "superdesk"—one long, unbroken work surface made, as the two note, with the help of vintage automotive robots and from a continuous pour of resin with little sparkles in it.
While interesting, some of the descriptions did sound a little like Stefon graduated from clubs to office design.
Now Barton F. Graf 9000 and proprietor Gerry Graf have served up their own office tour video, complete with identical intro title font and color and an agency founder tour guide. In place of a continuous desk, this place features a continuous floor. It also has archways that lead into spaces they call "offices," see-through material (aka windows) as well as 62 discontinuous desks.
Graf says the idea came out of office envy. "I'm friends with Ben Palmer and when I saw his video I was a little jealous," says Graf. "You have to admit the office looks pretty cool. So last Friday I started talking about what we had and it just came to me that we had a continuous floor."
An agency producer walked by, Graf asked him to get his iPhone out and started ad-libbing. "I always like to be the guy with the pin who pops your bubble if it gets too big," says Graf. "So my Second City Improv training paid off. It was just a little fun."
It's good to see some playful creative tussling in the industry every once in a while.
We're just glad neither of them are located in an abandoned orphanage on the lower lower east side of Chelsea.
See the original video below.