Designing our own studio: five reasons this project is different

Designing our own studio: five reasons this project is different

After 13 years of nurturing and growing our practice at 2 Bloor Street East, our Toronto Studio has outgrown itself and will be relocating to the CBC Building! From broadcast to design, we’re excited to bring a new purpose to an iconic Canadian space.

Our new address will be:

35 John Street, Suite 500
Toronto, ON  M5V 3G5

We sat down with our design team to find out how designing a space for ourselves, differs from designing for clients. Here, we offer our top 5 take-aways:


1. Free reign isn’t freeing


A client’s corporate vision and guiding principles shape how we approach their workplace design and provide limits that we work within. What’s different about designing our own project is we’re in charge of our own culture, who we are, how we work, and our own ability to change. The opportunity for transformation is so much greater, and the constraints are so much less. So much freedom and choice mean there’s more decisions to make up front.



2. Every decision is an opportunity to innovate


This is our moment to make everything we do a little bit better. Designing our own workplace is an opportunity to capture our culture in a space that speaks volumes about who we are. Every single decision is a chance to innovate. From recycling systems, to lighting control, to how we meet and collaborate, we are taking this opportunity to become the best DIALOG we can be. While we explore all these things with our clients, when you’re designing for yourself you can be that much more introspective.


3. It’s a chance to dream big!


Our new studio in the CBC Building is our Toronto Team’s first opportunity to design a space we aren’t occupying. Without worrying about disrupting our staff and workflow, we essentially have a blank canvas. This is a grand opportunity to include programming like our maker space and engineering lab. Our library is going to be unlike any other we’ve had in the past, and spaces like our town hall, quiet pods, and an abundance of collaboration zones (we’re going from 6 to 38!) are all things we’ve wanted in the past but couldn’t accommodate.


4. Everyone has a great idea


Every designer will tell you that for every project they work on, there’s always a great idea that can’t make it into the final design. Designers keep these ideas for later – hoping they’ll have a chance to pull them out. This is that time, and we’ve got almost 200 super creative people at our Toronto studio with great ideas. How did our new studio project team navigate all those opinions with grace? A lot of stakeholder engagement! The project team held a ton of sessions with our staff to make sure all ideas had a chance to make it to the table.


5. Walk the talk


We endeavour to make every project we work on the best it can be. From community wellbeing, to combating climate change, we help our clients reach the very high standards they’re trying to achieve. When it comes to the design of our own workspace, we’re holding ourselves to that same high standard. This new studio is an example of every design ethos we stand for – community, sustainability, and collaboration. It’s a chance for us to live our values every day and reflects our DIALOG culture. When you walk through the doors, you’ll be able to see right into our soul!


We’ll be in our new space this summer! Stay tuned for updates and photos of the new studio. Until then, check out the cutting-edge workplaces we’ve designed for other companies!





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