There’s a lot to dig about Zulu’s new digs

The shop's creativity was bursting at the seams, so it burst into a new building.

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Zulu Alpha Kilo is like that Headspace session on creativity.

Do you know the one?

It’s when that charming British narrator instructs meditators to calm their monkey minds by visualising a bright, warm, expansive light (a.k.a. creativity) inside their chests and then watch as it moves outward to fill the room they’re perched in, Ghandi-style. It continues until the light spills into the next apartment/office/building, or as far as their imagination can go.

That’s Zulu to a tee. The creative shop has spilled into yet another 10,000 square feet inside the Ontario Design Centre, a building in Toronto’s East end where it already occupies 17,000 square feet. Now, creativity lives across five floors and three buildings. “As a result, everyone gets their daily quota of 10,000 steps,” the agency jokes.

The “Zulu Campus” has a few quirky touches, of which we highlight below…

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If you ever browse Zulu’s website, you’ll start to question its authenticity. You’ll realize its leadership team is fictitious, a commentary on “the flaws of the old ways of running an agency.” So naturally, the “founder,” a Mr. Frank Zulu, is all over the agency’s new space. His image and his team’s ridiculous ‘isms’ are displayed on the walls. And a completely inaccessible door to his office (which is locked on both sides, with another, unrelated, business on the other side) holds a “caution” sign that reads “Do Not Enter without taking a stiff drink first” next to a table with a bottle of Scotch. Nice.

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Do you remember the agency’s ThinkBox experiment back in 2008 when it first opened its doors? Well, the idea was to place eight interdisciplinary thinkers inside a minimal white box in the middle of Yonge-Dundas square and solve any problem any odd (or even) pedestrian threw at them. It, too, was a commentary on original thinking, as it rid them of parameters that dull spontaneous creativity. Eleven years later, the agency has resurrected this box and turned it into a meeting room.

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And what’s a creative agency without a lounge, an auditorium, shareable stand-up desks, quiet areas, and a cafe where people can work, eat, relax and… perform karaoke? “We wanted our space to foster innovative thinking,” said founder and CCO/CEO Zak Mroueh in a release. “We believe it’s our responsibility to create a culture and environment where creativity flourishes.”

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