• at work with
    AT WORK WITH SCOTT DADICH, EDITOR IN CHIEF OF WIRED
    WIRED's man at the helm gives us a tour of their newly renovated SF headquarters, and shares his personal approach to form versus function.
    June 23, 2015  |  BY TARIQ DIXON
    Since assuming the top seat at WIRED in late 2012, Scott Dadich has already led a full-scale digital redesign, orchestrated a monumental cover story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and recently completed a floor-to-ceiling renovation of the company's SF headquarters.

    Having served as the magazine's Creative Director from 2006 to 2010, Scott's vision for the magazine had been several years in the making. An art director by nature and training, Mr. Dadich instinctively saw opportunity to strengthen the publication's position on design, starting with the its physical home.

    “I said, I want to redesign the space if I come back as Editor in Chief,” - a promise he began to tackle his very first day on the job. He enlisted the help of design firm Gensler, and they together reimagined a more modern and design-centric space, free of cubes and walls, to promote a stronger, more collaborative culture.

    We were among the first to tour the newly completed SoMa headquarters, unquestionably one of the most impressive offices we've ever seen. A preference for minimal forms and restrained tones, the space is appointed with modern furniture and contemporary photos in black, white and shades of gray. But unexpectedly, our eyes catch hold of a bright, monochromatic room - a feature use occasionally throughout the office, and described by Scott as the “wrong theory.” One of our favorite features - the building's expansive warehouse windows - is inherent to its original form. However, the striking ways in which light interacts with its glass doors and artfully-placed furniture is a credit to the perfectly considered architecture and design.

    Take a look inside WIRED's awe-worthy new offices and learn about the motivations behind the renovation from the magazine's Editor in Chief himself, Mr. Scott Dadich.
  • WHAT PROMPTED THE REDESIGN?

    As WIRED has grown, the needs of our company have evolved. WIRED.com actually used to be a separate organization. The site had an independent staff, separate happy hours, even different key cards. In fact, this very space used to be two separate buildings that were at some point conjoined. Conde Nast bought WIRED.com back in 2007 and joined it with the magazine, but the physical architecture was still preventing an easy flow of ideas and work between the print and digital groups. So the actual process of reimagining the space literally started on my first day as Editor in Chief. I wanted to improve the layout, consider it as one space and eliminate the physical barriers that had existed between teams (we used to call the dividing hallway the "Berlin Hall"). Now, you can look across the entire floor, see everyone working together, and that feels great. We're doing better work because we're able to collaborate more freely.

  • WHAT WERE SOME OF THE DESIGN CONCEPTS OR INSPIRATIONS?

    The group of us who worked with our architects (Lisa Bottom and Karyn Gabriel at Gensler) have a preference for clean lines. We also decided to localize color to a couple of key moments. The main volume is predominantly blacks, whites, and grays alongside textures like concrete, glass, and steel, peppered with surprise moments of color. For example, if you walk down this white hallway and turn the corner, you'll encounter this floor-to-ceiling chartreuse workroom, or in the cool grays of the cafeteria, a tiny red sitting nook. We powered these decisions with the “wrong theory” - a design practice of mine that centers on getting all of the details just so, and then making one little counterintuitive move for contrast.

  • Now, you can look across the entire floor, see everyone working together, and that feels great. We're doing better work because we're able to collaborate more freely.

  • HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ROLE OF DESIGN WITHIN THE WIRED BRAND?

    Design has always played a fundamental role in the identity of WIRED - almost like the cartoons in The New Yorker - you can't have WIRED without strong design. It is also the glue that holds together the different elements of WIRED stories: prose, photography, ideas. WIRED editors are visual storytellers as much as the creatives. We've had a history of achievement in the craft, so telling stories beautifully is a real source of pride for our organization.

  • WOULD YOU ALSO SAY THAT THE ROLE OF DESIGN WITHIN THE LARGER TECH WORLD IS EVOLVING?

    I would say our readers, and really, the tech community as a whole, has a better understanding of the power of design - of the need for treating the practice as a fundamental component of business success. WIRED covers the various fields of design, but we are also really interested in how design principles help us understand and power technology. Design is what allows us to make sense of our own human progress, to add form to pure function.

  • WIRED editors are visual storytellers as much as the creatives. We've had a history of achievement in the craft, so telling stories beautifully is a real source of pride for our organization.

  • We powered these decisions with the “wrong theory” - a design practice of mine that centers on getting all of the details just so, and then making one little counterintuitive move for contrast.

  • HOW DOES YOUR SENSE OF ORDER INFLUENCE THE WAY YOU WORK? YOUR PRODUCTIVITY?

    My personal want for order is certainly my own brand of sickness. My friends and family are sick of it, I'm sure. My design books at home are color-segmented and so are the apps on my phone. But I feel a sense of ease from this system, of quick accessibility when my surroundings are clean and organized. I know the priority of the tasks in front of me - what I actually have to accomplish (now!) - based on what's physically on my desk. I keep the immediate “to do's” front and center - story proofs, manuscripts, budgets, designs. I've tried a less organized approach and I just didn't do so well with it. Work fell through the cracks, and I felt more overwhelmed. Minimalism isn't just an aesthetic function, it helps me get through the day and to be a better editor.

  • WHAT OTHER WAYS DO YOU MAINTAIN SEMBLANCE OF MIND AT WORK, DESPITE ITS DEMANDS?

    This is actually a topic we tackle head on in our new issue: how to find happiness at work. I'm happiest - and probably most productive - when I'm doing work that is challenging, when I get to team up with colleagues to solve tough problems. We like doing things that people say are impossible, and we like being first. But we also mix work and play throughout the work week, and we balance the late nights with little moments of nonsense throughout the day: dogs roaming about, loud music playing, spirited debates about Game of Thrones, a lunchtime run down to the Giants ballpark for a few innings, or a bunch of us winding down our Friday with a few drinks around someone's desk.

  • shop the story
    WHAT'S ON SCOTT'S DESK
    We take a look at which office essentials make the cut on Scott's perfectly-appointed and clutter-free desk.
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  • jobo

    what an inspiring $120 mousepad…

    • abbottim

      Yes, gazing upon it inspires me as well. It’s rather cerebral, don’t you think?

  • BeR

    Any details about the couch?

  • Vice Squeezer

    mouse pad.. don’t use one

  • Vice Squeezer

    odd looking lamps.. very pricey

  • William Viergever

    can anyone tell what his chair is?

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