Design for Innovation
 
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THE TALE OF THE WSA DUCK

 

Dedicated to the duck. Without you, we’d be pretty quackin’ lonely.

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a place we call The Collaboratory, a duck was born. It was built in our image: small and mighty and youthful and, although it cannot speak with words, we hear its language of innovation and collaboration because we, too, speak that language. We hold this duck in the highest regard. Like cats in Egypt, this duck is royalty and we treat it as such, placing it on its throne above the common folk in our office. “Just look up and I’ll be there,” we hear it say. And we do.

* * *

A few people have asked us “What’s with the duck?” and we laugh and dance around the question. “It’s a joke,” and, on the surface, that’s true, but we exist because of the teams we’ve built, so today is the day we share our secret. Start practicing your quack, ladies and gentlemen.  

A few years ago, we bought Legos to send out as a small “thank you” to some clients. In true architect fashion, many were used to create buildings and towers to fidget with on long days. Weeks later, an employee’s daughter joined in on the fun, demolishing the high rise and creating a duck. One by one (or was it two by two?), ducks appeared everywhere: coat pockets, windows, coffee cups… we’re still finding them.

Now, when you come into our office, the ducks are everywhere. They remind us that we are not an organization of passivity; we have ideas and feel valued to pursue them. The duck reminds us to think outside the high rises and the standards of architecture as they exist now, that this office affects change and when you see it inside the office, plastered all over Instagram, and placed randomly throughout the city, you’ll stop for a second to think I wonder what’s going on here.

So, yes, the duck is funny for us. It’s fun to put it in our pocket and drop one in a random location to take a photo. So far, the duck has sipped a nice Pinot in California, invented something tech-y inside The Forge in Des Moines, played goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets, judged a chili cook-off alongside our favorite furniture vendors, and joined Connor and Tim in their pity party when The Crew SC tied… again. This idea that was meant to be a small gesture of thanks transformed into a symbol for change, innovation, and perspective because we built it. A few Legos pieced together isn’t special. Four walls and a roof isn’t special. As Todd Boyer once said, “The space takes it (the culture) to the next level.”

If WSA Studio is known for creating something as simple and plain as a Lego duck and making it a powerful symbol for change and perspective, then we’ve brilliantly succeeded because our projects are anything but plain.

* Disclaimer: Please remember the duck is a fictional Lego animal and cannot drink wine, invent or judge anything on its own, or have feelings about sporting events.
** We do not endorse animals drinking wine at all.

 
 
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AMBER AITKEN
Office Manager  |  aaitken@wsastudio.com