Thinking Outside the... BOX



During our northern California EdJourney, our Design39Campus team was able to visit the progressive, start-up company box.

Motion. Laughing. Freedom. Trust. Collaboration. Fun. Food anytime. Mobile furniture. Writeable surfaces. Pride. Celebration.

These are are a few of the many things that became very noticeable within minutes of walking around the newly renovated 3 story building. The first piece of furniture that caught our eyes was the bright yellow slide that allowed employees to get from the second floor to the first floor. With a smile on our faces, we asked “is this only for box employees?” Thankfully, it was for everybody. Right away, we knew this was going to be an engaging experience - and we knew how our time here would end. More on this in a bit...

Employees were standing or sitting at height-adjustable tables with, what we believed, to be their choice of computer. In front of them, a small writeable surface for quick ideas and brainstorms to be jotted down. Most employees were huddled in groups, standing, talking, and working effectively with common goals of innovation and change. Writing covered the whiteboard walls and all the rooms were named with a creative twist or inside joke. Clearly, the environment inspired creativity and high quality work, while maintaining a light, joyful working experience for employees. We saw pride in their work as teams seemed to work in small, collaborative families who celebrated success in their own special ways. All workers ate lunch at around the same time in a large, open cafe where food was, of course free, and at the heart of the workforce. This space, which included ping pong tables and a stage, was big enough for all employees to fit in at once, if needed, to have all staff events.

It was nearing the end of our visit and we still had unfinished business. That’s correct. The slide.




Our team went in with the mindset that box could only offer a user a virtual cloud for digital storage.  We quickly learned that this is not the function that makes box special - it’s the fact that they allow for users to interact and collaborate with those files through a virtual network. We left thinking, how can we integrate this into our school and why would this be good for kids? More to come soon.

A few of our tweets from our experience:

@Design39Campus box employees moving constantly, having fun, and working in a collaborative environment #edjourney #d39c

Another takeaway from visits to Google and box - it's time to be creative and change the way we name classrooms #edjourney #d39c

Box has a slide!!! Our team has fun everywhere!! #edjourney pic.twitter.com/WTdgCBYVdx

Schools need to model more after innovative businesses like @ideo @google @BoxWorks #edjourney #D39C

Thanks box!

Kyle Asmus
@Design39Campus