If you’ve read our P’unk Guide or worked with us in the past, you may already know that we are inspired by and use natural root bridges as a guiding metaphor here at P’unk Ave.
Beginning as a single root and grown over many years with time and care, root bridges evolve to full-length bridges supporting the weight of dozens of people and, because they are alive, they actually gain strength over time.
Here is an excerpt from our guide:
“As a company, we embrace the idea of growing organically. From time to time the team might take on a new initiative that needs patience—just as stray roots eventually join their counterparts to strengthen the bridge, we trust that our intuition will lead us in the right direction and that our projects will grow to the point where they are ready to be folded into P’unk Ave’s vision."
Part of being a P’unk is making sure your personal aspirations and goals are aligned with your work at P’unk Ave— we believe that without this alignment, the work suffers and your personal life suffers.
Our personal aspirations are a big part of what we focus on twice a year at our P’unk Retreats. This has served as a place for two members of our team, Ilyssa and Kyle, to reflect on their dream of living on the West Coast and exploring the vast forests, mountains and oceans of the Pacific Northwest. Staying true to our vision as a company that supports our team in work and in life, P'unk Ave is embracing this as an opportunity to create a rooted studio in another city.
For our winter retreat in 2014, we created a narrative of P’unk’s vision for a typical day in the year 2020. One part of that statement includes the following:
“[We] explain that we also have a senior member of the team who has gone out to Oakland, Portland, or Greenville to experiment with creating a satellite office to explore local initiatives and see how they can participate on the kinds of projects we have become known for in Philly — and share in our own experiences of expanding to a national footprint.”
As we work through the reality of a new studio, the vision has become clearer and we realize now that it is not about creating a satellite office that orbits around our Philadelphia studio, but instead to create one that is of that place – rooted and invested.
Aside from its breathtaking neighboring natural wonders, we see Portland as the type of city that welcomes the participation of its citizens and is helping to be a role model of what it means to be a 21st century city. We are excited to learn from this city by becoming rooted citizens of and contributors to it.
We are intentionally not creating a “remote” office. We are interested in creating a rooted studio. Not remote workers, rooted workers. We want to live in and be true citizens of Portland. We want to contribute to its vibrancy and gain from the experience as neighbors, as friends, as members of a community and as designers.
P’unk Ave Portland is five months and 2,868 miles away, but there is so much to do! Preparing for this next step means getting the team ready for the challenges that will arise and further solidifying and documenting our culture. We’ll be thinking a lot about what it means to be a P’unk— our routines, the rituals we’ve developed, the way we communicate to each other— and finding ways to grow and evolve. We know that we will learn a lot and we are open to applying our guiding principles, testing them, and iterating on them.
We’d love to hear from you: what’s interesting in Portland? Who should we talk to? Where should we live? What are the best trails to hike? Are there good soft pretzels?
We are looking forward to sharing this journey with you. We don’t know what’s in store for us yet, but we can’t wait to find out. Stay tuned for more.