Our STORY is…
To explore the idea around the future of work as it relates to how and where we work, we teamed up with thought leader, author, and founder of The Ready, Aaron Dignan. “The future of work is about finding ways to be more human – to move beyond our addiction to growth, technology, and the status quo. My team has been searching for a place to play with the concept of Eudaimonia. It’s a Greek word for human flourishing,” says Dignan.
To bring this idea to life we sought out a diverse cast – from collaborators like The School of Life, Simon Sinek, Seth Godin and Arianna Huffington, to brands like Starbucks Reserve and Samsung to creative collaborators including data artist Giorgia Lupi.
Blu Dot stepped up to design the entire environment, providing an extensive range of furnishings throughout. “As offices are designed and furnished to feel more and more residential, and we’re all working anywhere, anytime, through any medium, the idea of the workplace is totally in flux. At Blu Dot, we think a lot about how we can design for this new normal, and our collaboration with STORY is a great opportunity to be part of an interesting conversation about what the future of work might be,” shares Blu Dot co-founder Maurice Blanks.
And what would be a Work / Space STORY without co-working! For the duration of the installation, people will be able to reserve space at STORY online. Slots will be all day from 11-6 and there will two choices – a single office space or people can come and get comfortable in common areas like the Salon featuring Starbucks Reserve, and those areas are first come.
To kick off the living, spatial narrative, STORY called on Chicago-based architect David Dewane, creator of the Eudaimonia Machine – an original concept for a new kind of work environment featured in Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work. “There is an increasing desire to balance being connected and disconnected. There is an opportunity to transform the workplace from a homogeneous ‘open’ space, to spaces that run along a focus spectrum from highly social to highly focused. This allows us to each work in an environment that suits the task at hand – including complete disconnection from work to recharge our batteries,” shares David. STORY will be the first space to bring to life Dewane’s concept! And, the duration of the installation, STORY will allow customers to book office space or just show up and work from the couch – complimentary wi-fi included of course! STORY’s founder Rachel Shechtman calls it a “transactional co-working space.”
When you enter the store, you are in The Gallery, a room about identity and purpose. Amplifying the intention is a deep and exclusive assortment from London’s The School of Life, the resource for teaching companies and individuals about emotional intelligence. “We are delighted to launch our Learning and Development offer in the US. When we heard of STORY and their upcoming effort on the future of work, we saw an alignment with our own values; it seemed like the perfect time and venue for a partnership. We hope you find our workshops and products inspiring, enjoyable, and most of all, helpful as you work toward future goals,” shares Alain de Botton, Founder and CEO of The School of Life. And since how you show up at work on the outside is part of your identity, direct to consumer destinations Grovemade, The Arrivals and MM.LaFleur move in exclusively to reveal a few edited favorites.
After the gallery is The Salon, a purely social space, with coffee, magazines, and games. The goal is to stimulate maximum social interaction away from work. “Ideas don’t compete with each other; they complete each other. The Salon allows you to talk through all kinds of issues,” shares Dewane. Since coffee is critical, Starbucks stepped with exclusive coffee drinks – available at no other locations in the US – from its premium, small-lot Reserve brand. The Starbucks Reserve Peru Chontali Coffee will be served as a pour over coffee for those who want a nice warm cup of coffee with flavor notes of red apple and candied lemon. In addition, we will offer a very special cold beverage, the Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew which is a beverage lightly sweetened with Vanilla syrup, topped with Cascara Cold Foam and a strike of Cascara topping. And, for those who want to bring the pour over magic home, Oregon based Ratio Coffee showcases its latest Ratio 8 maker.
Following The Salon is The Office, a regular office with desks, a conference table, and white boards. And what better way to feature a whiteboard then by debuting Samsung’s Flip interactive whiteboard. Only at STORY in NYC can visitors engage and interact.
And to transition to analog, award-winning data artist Giorgia Lupi steps in with an original installation where visitors both online and off are asked a series of questions that will inform an in-store art installation updated weekly.
Moving into The Library, the fourth room, you discover what you need to do your job better: old proposals, key books, artifacts. For Work/Space STORY there are over 200 curated titles by leading business thinkers and authors. Highlights include Seth Godin’s Man on the Moon, for sale for the very first time and only at STORY. Stefan Sagmeister is selling his documentary, The Happy Film, and Beth Comstock curated some of her favorite titles on innovation. In the spirit of the future of work, The Ready’s Aaron Dignan also hand selected some of the rarest and most insightful titles in the world of organizational design and cultural transformation.
The final room is The Chamber – the heart of the space, designed for deep work. These are simple, small rooms that allow you maximum focus on your work without the possibility of interruption. To make sure you are armed with tools and tricks for self-care to support such focus, Arianna Huffington curated an assortment from Thrive Global, the online destination…. “People realize that the way we’re living and working isn’t sustainable. But in our hyper-connected, 24/7 world, it’s never been harder to unplug and recharge. Working with STORY allows us to bring people in and let them experience ways they can make changes to their lives to help them thrive.” Perch Interactive shows up to make sure visitors get to experience Thrive’s digital content IRL and connected to the physical merchandise Arianna selected.