Interview with Andrea Lenardin Madden
Cupcakes are enough of a treat by themselves, but customers who enter the Sprinkles stores in Los Angeles and New York experience a sweet visual feast too. Leave it to Vienna-born Andrea Lenardin Madden and LA-based architecture, branding, and packaging design studio, alm project, to turn a trip for cupcakes into a lesson on award-winning design. There’s also a lot to learn from alm project’s studio space, so we asked Andrea how her workplace fosters creativity and communication.
1. We love all of your work, but Sprinkles has to be our favorite. Can you tell us a bit about the creative process there?
We create collaboratively. Everyone's ideas get heard. Sprinkles’ encouragement for us to engage in any aspect of their business, their broad vision, and their commitment to the integrity of their brand made it possible to take the influence of design all the way, and to create a Sprinkles"universe". We gauge new ideas for their potential within this context, and develop them creatively to contribute to the big picture. This overall approach has brought great benefits not only with respect to the customer's perception of the brand but it has helped boost enthusiasm with their staff by creating a work environment stimulated by team spirit and great care.
2. How would you describe your office aesthetic?
Loft-like, a raw installation space with access to daylight and the energy of an urban neighborhood. It’s functional, flexible, and just says “creative studio.” The team has physical and visible access to each other, supporting the alm project belief in the importance of communication. I like the studio space to be as uncluttered as possible; completed projects get packed away. I prefer a blank canvas, sometimes we project a loop of favorite images on a wall, sometimes we blast music loud like in a club...
3. We’re thrilled that you have incorporated the Heartwork pedestals into your office design. What’s your favorite thing about them?
The clean, flush design, great colors and quality manufacturing. They’re mobile/flexible and substantial.
4. What advice would you give someone who wants a workspace to foster creativity?
I would say the workspace needs to first reflect the spirit of the office culture and meet its basic needs. Next have a designated area for empty space and white walls to allow creativity to happen. Access to daylight and the outdoors is always important – and a big table to gather for lunch or coffee and cupcakes, as some great ideas have been born during these breaks.
5. What inspires you most?
Lately I've been finding my inspiration during transcontinental flights – above the clouds there is space and time to drift, and the freedom to get lost (in thought).