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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 25

Posted by Keela on September 06, 2011

Usually we end the week with a weeknote. This week, we’ll start with one. Last week was just too busy. We had a lot to do, in a short amount of time. But we had a great team helping and lucky for me they all showed up back to work today.

So, a little about last week.

The office…

There was a definite shift. There were more people, we’ve somehow doubled in size. Linda, our studio manager, has been here for a few weeks now and brings new meaning to the word “organization.” From the moment she walked in the door I swear all our plants are greener, it’s always sunny and the sharpies are always sharp. She’s a monumental help with other work as well. We had to pick and resize 300 photos in like 8 hours, I think she did it in 5, while on the phone with HP to fix our printer and probably baking cupcakes in the back.

More people…

We reached out to two different contractors last week when we realized just how much more help we actually needed. So, Christy kindly accepted our invitation to come help us out with some writing and Tom obliged us by throwing himself in to organize the design and production of the toolkit we’ve been working on. It seemed with the addition of a couple extra people, the studio was humming along at an even higher pace, higher efficiency. Like going from 4th to 5th gear. It’s also more lively, people working things out, eating lunch, solving problems. It was and is quite nice.

Our intern…

Really, Kathleen is our client’s intern, but I like to claim her. It’s her last week of her 7-week internship, although it seems like she has only been here for a couple of weeks. Time flies when you have a good intern. She’s out in the field this week talking to different groups, about how they speak to their community and even who their community is. I can’t wait to see what she comes back with. Some secondary research Kathleen did last week about non-violent communication was interesting…you tend not to think about the seemingly obvious do’s and don’ts, like “don’t cross your arms” “make eye contact but don’t stare.” This reminds me of the Global Do’s and Don’ts in regards to eating. So, maybe not as pertinent but entertaining none the less.

The client…

We’re gearing up to launch our client’s site this week. It’s very exciting for us. We’ve been working with this client for over a year and while we have many deliverables coming, this is the first one to “launch.” We’ll definitely post the link once everything goes live and is working, so for now you’ll just have to be in the dark. Big thanks to the guys at Weightshift for making this week’s launch possible. And a congrats to Scott on his recent nuptials. For those non-profits who don’t have Weightshift to help with their site, they can check out Bellstrike, who look like they are doing a good job helping non-profits get access to online fundraising.

Oh by the way, we are looking for a few more interns. For Central and for our client. We’ll post more information soon. So if you are a stellar intern, could be a stellar intern or know of a stellar intern, get your info ready to send to us!




Week 19

Posted by Jonathan on July 15, 2011

We’ve just installed new high speed internet next-door, as well as increased our bandwidth in the main studio. This also applies to our daily mental capacity. I’m thinking we need to do that with human resources as well, and it just so happens that Central will be growing soon! There is so much going on here, that I’m forgetting to eat.

The studio is in hyper-focus mode with the Exchange Project, which seems like 5 projects in one. We’ve been doing tons of research; scouring academic journals and historical texts, as well as dipping into the ethnographic side of the design process through some field-research trips. Of particular note, from the design side of things, is Robert Bringhurst’s The Elements of Typographic Style. I read this front to back when I was in School at RISD, but felt compelled to read through it again. It’s proved most useful for weighing the past few years of professional design work, with more empirical and research based principles for design and typography. It feels great to look at type as a science and craft again.

In contrast, we’ve been doing a lot of research on product design, where designing emotion and experience have proved once again to be as important as designing the product itself. Don Norman speaks to this in his Ted Talk, 3 Ways Good Design Makes You Happy. What’s been especially exciting, is orchestrating all of these principles into design guidelines for our project. We’ve been taking on the monumental, yet very necessary task of pulling data from the best minds in typography, educational design, structured writing, cognitive theory, industrial design, and visual composition – and weighing it against (or using it in compliment to) user driven field studies and personal experience – to create the best designed result.

Almost a thousand sticky notes and an equal number of pages later, we are almost there. I think Keela either has secret powers for staying impeccably organized and on top of things, or isn’t sleeping.

Our research also led us to Alan Turing, who has been called the father of modern computer science. His story is an incredible one to say the least. Check out the trailer for a new film that will be launching later this fall here.

We’ve also been visited by an old friend, the Future Fish Project. And a new friend, John Bielenberg, who helped to start Common with Alex Bogusky, stopped by for a great discussion on bicycles and the SoCap conference, where Damien has accepted an invitation to be a panelist. We’re thrilled about this.

Damien also finished writing his article for Print Magazine, but is still writing … something, which just made me look at the mess of notes on my desk that I have to clean. He was extraordinarily generous and surprised me on Wednesday with a limited silkscreen print, Rise for Japan, hand signed by the designer, Milton Glaser. Thanks, D.

Speaking of Japan, I’ve taken on the responsibility of Creative Directing a class called Design for Social Innovation, at Musashino Art University, in Tokyo. The students are working to develop a collaborative idea generating web platform, to help with the ongoing recovery efforts in Japan. Something like Open Ideo. Although it has fallen out of the news here in the US, there is still so much work to be done. The class is hyper-smart and very talented. If you’re wondering how this actually works, we use facebook as a progress and communication tool, dropbox to exchange files, and skype video calls. Technology is amazing when used in this way.

What a week. I’m going to see Harry Potter. In IMAX.

Position Filled – Intern positions available

Posted by Damien on March 30, 2011

So we’re really lucky and the perfect fit for our design needs walked in the door and we’re able to take down the “Help Wanted” sign in the window as far as Graphic/Visual design needs.

However, we’re still on the lookout for outstanding Interns. In particular Research + Writing Interns.

We have a mammoth project for you: to help us tell the story of our Future of Fish project from all our research. You can learn a little more about the project here:

For your time here, you’ll get the unique experience of a small design studio that works on large-scale complex problems. In particular, you’ll be helping to publish an incredibly important project which was run in partnership with Ashoka & the Packard Foundation. This project is over now, but work still continues directly from this in the efforts to launch viable and critically needed social ventures. So you’ll be directly contributing to making a change to our oceans.

These boards, in the photo below, need to be turned into a highly readable, approachable story about the work we did in the Fishing Industry. Look inspiring?

Future of Fish BoardsAn amazing Research & Writing Intern

Here in Sausalito, we’re looking for one of those interns we talk about for the next ten years, comparing every future incoming person to them.

This is for an ongoing Internship – though we’d consider Summer Internships for College credits. (If we can do that.)

The research intern we’re looking for would be a super-creative, highly collaborative, hardworking individual. We’re interested if you’ve had experience in secondary research, creating research briefs and presenting findings to teams or clients.

You’ll be unbelievable at hunting down a particular piece of material. We want to meet you if you’re the type of person who doesn’t stop at looking at a photo, but tries to make out what’s been written on a post-it that is in the photo. We’re going to be excited about meeting you, if you’re the kind of tenacious bloodhound who doesn’t stop until they’ve gotten that much-wanted piece of information.

You’ll also have experience in synthesizing, and creating insights from human centered design research (ethnography etc) and be extremely effective at communicating your ideas and concepts to other.

The successful intern candidate would be an excellent writer, communicator and have a great deal of empathy for design. It would help tremendously if you were able to show previous experience of how your research contributed to projects, or how you were able to synthesize your work into insights.

Please send along, by email (to jobs at centralstory dot com), examples of your work, experience and an outstanding cover letter.

Thank you- and we really look forward to hearing from you.