Happy birthday to the Gypsies. One year en route to nowhere in particular, Wolken Communica has been traveling – stopping only to suck dry our hosts’ creativity before moving to another.

When the thought struck to hang up the office structure for a mobile lifestyle, we planned to do it for a year –minimum. It was an experiment with an endpoint, with the option to continue. More than an experiment – it was a promise; a promise to myself to give it a full year and then see where things stand. No stopping after six months, even if a killer proposal came down the pike.

Well, we’ve done it. And we can’t even consider putting on the brakes.

There’s no reason to stop. This last year has been the best year of design we’ve had in recent memory. A lot of the commutes have been on my bike, so I’ve gotten to see the city in a whole new way. Inspiration has come through the simplest things – taking a new bike route, seeing new parts of the city, meeting new personalities, drinking-in different workplace cultures … drinking in new pubs. The people we’ve met, for the most part, have been super-fun and super-interesting. (Unless they were the boring tired ones – you know who you are!) But there’s always a few of those.

Another reason for this trek was to meet people. There are ton of people that I would have never met if I was still sitting behind my old desk – but there is a lot of room for improvement. I knew that the never-ending introductions would be a big personal test in this process: Once I know you, I’m easy; but meeting you in the first place, that’s my Everest. The challenge has been liberating. I’ve also learned a bit about myself as well. I can embrace the chaos I create. I can attack most any challenge and overcome it. Maybe, just maybe, this trek is helping me grow a little.

I’ve also learned where we don’t want to go. If you don’t have a coffee machine (Hovie) we’re not interested. If there’s construction going on, were not interested – we seem to have been followed by hammers, sledge hammers and jack-hammers. I’ve learned that we need to put ourselves in other creative environments. A static office environment without a creative influence is a deal-breaker for us, a slit wrist makes it hard to ride your bike home at the end of the day.

As much as we are thankful that people would even consider having us around, we have to be choosy. No banks, lawyers or telemarketers. Speaking of telemarketers, working in an environment where there’s too many conversations that I can hear has been debilitating. I can’t help but eavesdrop, even if I could care less about the conversation. This forces me into headphones, which screams “Don’t talk to me”  to everyone else. Maybe that’s why Justin always has his on.

For the 12 years prior to prying ourselves from the office, I worked in one location: South of Fremont. In the last year alone we’ve worked in Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, SoDo, Downtown and Pike Place Market. The city has come alive for me again.

Thank you for hosting us over the last year:
Design Hovie Studios
Office Nomads
Electric Pen
Pixelube
Graypants
Frog
SiteWorkshop

The status quo had to be broken, and we shat all over it. There’s still some room for more shit to go down, though. We need to push harder and do even more. It will be done.

There’s no stopping now, the caravan has a few new rolls of duct tape on it, and we’ll see where she red-lines, yet.