For Ubiquitous, a digital agency based in Manchester, the workplace is something more than simply a place to work. Founders Andy Buchan and Neil Boote wanted their company’s office to represent the heart of their company: Craft.
“Craft is at the heart of Ubiquitous, crafted ideas and crafted executions, and the use of material throughout reflects these values. We believe in getting back to an artisan sensibility which most would see contrasting against the slick, aluminum enclosed culture of many modern agencies. Once we had found a great base, in our case a unit inside a 19th Century mill, our aim was to create an office that would inspire both staff and clients to be creative.”
The company’s previous office space had a much more industrial feel, with exposed brick walls. It was also a single room, something they found to be nightmarish. At only two years of age, the firm sees their old space as being a place to get them off the ground.
Many companies utilize profesional design help, but this project was completed in-house. The use of wood throughout the office was driven by a reaction to often cold and uninspiring workplaces that seem to go hand-in-hand with cutting edge technology. As it happens, one of their team is a skilled carpenter, so fashioning the ethically sourced wood into something much more was a natural extension of their skills. The desks were also designed by Andy and Neil, and were crafted from old floorboards.
Being a furniture geek, I asked about the company’s decision to choose Steelcase’s Think chairs for employee seating. Andy noted that…
“A chair is firstly a functional item. Given how much time people in our industry spend sitting down in front of a screen it had to be something ergonomic and comfortable. The Steelcase chairs provide great function while also being clean and uncomplicated. As a brand Steelcase is aligned to Ubiquitous. Producing a great, well considered and designed product.”
In addition to being a great place to work, the space works as an advertisement to clients of their creativity. “For us the office shows that creativity runs through everything that we do, and that while we may be a digital advertising agency, we take inspiration from a wider world. We think our clients appreciate this.”