[Tom Biederbeck] A studio space is ultimately just another tool to aid in the creative process. And because the judicious application of breaks and other forms of relaxation is essential to inspiration, Michael Osborne Design’s new quarters in San Francisco include a porch swing—capacity three (four with a squeeze). Designers do not thrive in cubicles alone.
After 15 years in his former Potrero Hill digs, Osborne recently relocated. He didn’t have to go far—just a few blocks in the same neighborhood, surely a factor in reducing the drama inherent in the moving process. That’s not to say Osborne feels it was easy. “We found stuff I’ve never seen before,” he says.
There’s plenty that’s familiar, though, starting with plywood (for desks), lighting fixtures and more. “We repurposed as much as we could. One of the walls in the old kitchen had a mural on it. We couldn’t leave it behind, so we had the contractor take the whole wall down and bring it over.”
BACK TO A MORE PLEASANT REALITY:
I asked Osborne for his favorite thing about the new space, now that the sturm und drang has (mostly) passed. “The porch swing in my office,” not surprisingly, is his answer. He says he’s getting accustomed to “the upstairs/downstairs aspect. I’m used to looking out of my office and being able to see everybody; some are downstairs now.”
Commenting on the photos he provided for this article, Osborne says, “I didn’t clean up a thing…this is how the office sits today, a real working office without tidy desks that look like no one has ever been there. It’s a brand-new happy mess.”
And if any of these factors cause anxiety for the proprietor, the porch swing will get a workout.
Michael Osborne Design is the branding and packaging firm of Michael Osborne, an AIGA Fellow and one of America’s most highly regarded designers. His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. It has been featured by the Society of Typographic Arts and American Institute of Graphic Arts; and in Communication Arts, HOW, Print and STEP inside design magazines. He designed the 2002 and 2004 Love stamps, the 2006 Wedding stamps, the 2006 Madonna and Child stamp, and the 2007 Patriotic Banner stamp for the USPS. Whew.
All photos courtesy of Michael Osborne Design