The Office For Creative Research


1)Being an multidisciplinary research group, how does your company go about finding the projects that it does?

2)How do you balance the practical economics of running a business with working with clientele that share your interests?

3)You have a background in both the sciences and art, how do you think being multidisciplinary has helped you in the workplace over a single expertise?


After navigating Manhattan’s Chinatown district we arrived at a small, precarious door that led up to The Office For Creative Research. There we were introduced to fellow Canadian Jer Thorp. After shuffling into the cozy office space Jer first demoed Specimen Box for us. Specimen Box is a data visualization project developed for the Digital Crimes Unit at Microsoft to analyze and investigate Botnet activity. Jer showed the diverse functionality of the project, and the ways in which in encompassed both science and art to produce an interface that was both intuitive to use and understand and incredibly complex in the data that can be extracted from it. After showing us Specimen Box, Jer continued to discuss what other kinds of projects the team is involved in.


Interface for “Specimen Box”


I was completely blown away by the work being produced by The Office For Creative Research. One of the aspects of this visit that stuck with me was the integrity of the business. Throughout the visit Jer explained the companies desire to use their knowledge in technology and science to develop things in creative and interesting ways. In that way, their clientele varied greatly. This was very far from a traditional design firm that works to make ends meet but rather a space that prides itself upon creating work that is thoughtful, impactful and curious. It was nice to see a business that’s last priority is making exorbitant amounts of money but instead exploring creative research methods. I think it was extremely important to visit this office to really understand that there are really diverse business models within the creative and technological economies.