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Open Spaces office

We usually write here about our various adventures, about product updates and other helpful things. Today I want to share with you some more personal things about Open Spaces – the space we inhabit and the animals who share it. It is not so common for businesses to give specifics about place or people. This is so staff and office arrangements can be changed when it is most economically viable to do so. We are not that kind of business. The place the business occupies – the office and its surroundings – is integral to the business, as are the staff and the authors who write our books. And not just in a ‘making the wheels of capitalism chug around’ kind of way. In the ‘we really like and care about you as a person’ kind of way, too.

Eco-resource central

Glenn is uber-passionate about recycling, re-using, conserving and generally running a business with as small an eco footprint as possible. He takes this so seriously that the office is built from the ground up with this in mind. It is housed in a converted weatherboard house, with the ingenious construction being worked out by Sunpower Design Consultants in Brunswick. There is a big glossy photo of the house on our about us page, but here are some more intimate shots, that hopefully give you a feel for the place.

There is rad decking all over the place at the office, since the block is super sloping…

All the stairs and decks help to create little microclimates for pernickety plants…

Polished concrete floors keep feet nice and cool all through summer. Peeking out from the top right corner is an Ikea desk leg and a computer which Glenn built himself! All the computers here are built up specifically for our requirements. This helps us get our work done with minimal interference from Microsoft Vista perils.

 

Outdoor ‘meeting room’

This is our cute little outdoor sitting space. When you’re sitting there looking out on the grass trees and the goldfish, it is is hard to imagine working anywhere else.

Making the books

Our books usually start with a good idea from an author. Sometimes it works the other way around, and we commission a good idea from an author. Once the author has done the hard work of writing it, we edit the text, shoot photos of the walking/riding trails or of the rockclimbs, and start making maps. Map making is a slow process involving combining various aspects of many different maps in order to get a map that clearly and accurately shows the area where the walk is, includes points of interest for walkers, and excludes almost everything else. This sounds so simple, but believe me, it takes a really long time. This is my job. Here are some pictures of the process…

Once the paper stage is over, we work on them digitally…

 

Distribution

Tracey is our kick-ass all round sorter outer of the things that make us money, and this includes packing up your books twice a week as the orders come in. Here is where it all happens…

The books get their own room and are lovingly protected from the elements. Here is one of our ace titles waiting to for orders: Grampians Bouldering by Dave Pearson and Chris Webb-Parsons.

And here is where the magic happens. Everything is super organised. Brown paper, check! Envelopes, check! Packing tape, check!

 

Office animals

No office should be without its office animals. Here we have about 20, but it most of them are fish. Here are a few of them in one of the many office ponds…

Here is another office pond (the big cauldron on the left)…

And last but definitely not least, the office cats. Pinot…

and Sushi…

These photos make them seem moodier than they are really (blame the iphone filter effects). Most of the time they sleep on the couch in the sun, reminding us what does not count as work.

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