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week 202

Posted by linda on December 01, 2011

Really? We have only 2 weeks left before the holiday break?  Crazy doesn’t even begin to explain what our to-do lists look like.  The Toolkit took a holiday break but now it’s back and in need of attention, year end accounting wants some love as well, early next week we have Tinkering Monkey coming in to install what should be an awesome railing system for our foam core boards, I need quotes for a mini remodel project, we’re all researching for different projects, I’m grant searching on another, working on the operations manual and I still have to make my holiday cards!  I know my mind is racing and looking over at Keela she’s so busy her eyes remind me of a Kit Cat clock. But we’re getting things done, checking them off our lists slowly one by one.  But this week is different, this week we are plus one!

Monday we welcomed Maria to the team as our new Central Intern.  We are so excited to have her with us. She’s settling in nicely by buying Oreos and drinking espresso, but she’s also a mad researcher. I mean it, she’s currently glued to the monitor not noticing anything around her.  Oh and another great quality of hers is that she’s a great tree scout.

Look at this perfection.  Marvel at the great lines.  Envy the fine craftswomanship of the ornaments.  On a randome note: Maria and I learned how to maximize the holiday smell that comes from a tree.  Since the smell originates from the sap one can score or break open the sap bumps.  The tree will “weep”(now this sounds sad) and emit a strong tree smell. Instant holiday warm and fuzzy feeling.

Since my to-do list is getting longer I need to get back to it.  But after last weeks introduction to the new (morbid) project management tool I want to leave you with another warm and fuzzy feeling. Warning you might need to have tissues nearby. It’s the story of Lab Pups getting their first taste of freedom .  I hope this some how counteracts our new Central Project Management Tool.

Have a great holiday.  2012 is going to be amazing.


ISO Fantastic Fall Intern

Posted by linda on September 07, 2011

We incubate some of the things that come out of our work with our clients. It’s the perfect way to stay involved in implementing the ideas we developed with them. Right now, we have one non-profit incubating with us that needs an intern. Read on if you’re interested in a pretty fascinating and interesting internship. We’ve already had a couple super-smart summer interns and we hope to find another to join the team.

Fall 2011
We’re looking for a stellar intern to help us with an immense challenge for one of our clients. We are looking for a student (or recent graduate) who could work in our offices in Sausalito, CA, who is interested in both research and using design to change the built environment we live in. We are looking for someone excited about mindboggling amounts of research and who is able to transform that research into meaningful insights and tools for a client of ours.

The non-profit we’re working with seeks to have the greatest impact on design possible, by changing what is considered necessary for a successful urban or community design. The non-profit works with cities and communities to help them build an environment that supports people through their lifecycle and enables both the cities and people to thrive.

This role requires the ability to conduct primary research, interviews, getting “out into the field”, writing and editing skills. As well as being able to prototype ideas and scenarios, and create strategic and practical plans of action for design and implementation. You must have excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Keep reading…
Truly successful design isn’t just done with the user in mind, but instead with the actual users participating in the design itself. You’ll be looking at what is currently out there in terms of tools, principles and possibly develop a new set applicable to the non-profit.  As well as take the existing assets and experience the organization has, and repurpose them.

You’ll also be working closely with and applying the intellectual framework developed by the non-profit to show how it can lead to project success, even failure or possible places for intervention

And if there is time you’ll be looking to develop a method or system for measuring the impact of using the framework and the designs that emerge from using it.

Who might you be?

If any of this sounds truly interesting, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you’re the type of person who relishes at the thought of hardcore research, finding every piece of worthy information about a relevant topic and pitching its importance, or someone who is energized by a large and loosely defined scope of direction and can easily turn that into smaller, more manageable and practical tasks, then we should meet. If you’re driven to take on large and immensely important tasks that have a direct impact on making the world a better place to live in, then definitely let us know. If you’re highly collaborative, super-hardworking individual, and enthusiastic about helping a non-profit, with an exceptional cause meet their goal, then what are you waiting for? Write us an incredible cover letter, send some examples of your work and experience, along with your resume. And a reference from someone we might already know.

What you’ll get in return?

While you’ll be working for our client, a non-profit urban design organization who is preparing to take its work out to Haiti, possibly Cambodia and Japan, you’ll also get to work alongside a highly creative and successful transformation company. Central uses the design process to transform organizations to design better futures. For themselves, their stakeholders, customers and the people they’re trying to help.

So you’ll get exposed to the design process, along with a very innovative process for redesigning the built environment we all live in. If you have any interest in architecture, planning, permaculture, community engagement, measuring social impact and biology or neuroscience, then you might find this work very inspiring.

This paid internship is for the fall, it begins when we find the right candidate and run for 8-10 weeks depending on your availability. All candidates must be able to work in our offices in Sausalito.

Please no calls, or drop-ins.

Email your stuff to: iamperfect [ at ]

Look forward to hearing from you.



Week 20

Posted by Keela on July 22, 2011

It’s Friday. I think everyone is very happy about that. It’s been a busy and productive week. Fridays we turn the music up just a little louder. And with the sun shining through the windows and Pandora sprinkling Beatles’ songs into my mix, it’s quite a nice ambiance in the studio. Except that it’s Emma’s last day. That’s a downer. We put an ad out a few months ago for “one of those interns we talk about for the next ten years, comparing every future incoming person to them” and she really fits that bill. She’s smart, funny and a joy to have around. She loves mobiles, so it’s only fitting on her last day that Google’s homepage was an ode to Alexander Calder’s 113th birthday, he’s the great inventor of mobile sculptures.

Outside of being bummed about the loss of a super-smart and comedic intern, things are going great, except we might be running out of space. Everyone has a desk, but the addition of another large-scale project will call for more tables and more foam core. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Jonathan isn’t here. He’s off to Seoul for a week. He cleaned his desk before he left, so not only is that corner of the studio ultra-tidy, but it’s quiet as well. It’s a little strange. He furiously cranked on the project before he left, mountains of research on his desk and piles of cookies. I’m not sure what he did with all those papers…and cookies for that matter.

I’ve been working with the Alabamboo team this week. They’re planning their arrival into the Bay Area, after biking well over 2500 miles. I get sporadic e-mails and phone calls when they have service. I applaud them for being able to not only bike across country, but blog, tweet, facebook and plan an event all at the same time. I’m looking forward to meeting them and hearing about their amazing journey.

There are a lot of proposals on my desk at the moment. Not necessarily currents ones, but olds ones that I am reading through to see what projects have been done and how they were structured. It’s interesting to see the wide range of work that was done at Central before I came here and even more interesting to see where we are going to go…hopefully that will include working with Architecture for Humanity in the near future.

So, it’s late on Friday now and I’ve still got quite a lot to do before I call it the end of the week. Soon, we’ll have more news to share and stuff to show. A thank you to Charlotte for driving over to see us this afternoon. She’s doing a Visualizing Science Fellowship at Yosemite this summer, you can check out her work here:

Speaking of driving, I’ve posted a pic of Emma’s ride. I’ll miss it almost as much as I’ll miss her.

So long…happy trails.