Inspiring Spaces: Data Path’s Outside-the-Box Modesto Office
When David Darmstandler and James Bates, co-founders of DataPath, approached local designer Adam Soares about bringing their 30-year-old office building into the 21st century, he brought back plans for a nice, clean, professional space that would have made any ordinary business owners happy.
The problem was, lifelong friends Darmstandler and Bates are anything but ordinary. They told Soares they picked him for his creative vision and trusted him completely. In essence, they were letting him off the leash. The final product, which took Soares’ business CG Customs & Interior Design a full ten months to complete, is an airy, light-filled prankster’s dream. Every surface has been remodeled or retouched. The building’s old gold lights, which an actual report from MID described as “hideous,” have been shucked in favor of sleek, modern lighting. Even the bathrooms earned a makeover.
DataPath prides itself on providing state-of-the-art IT management and innovation for area businesses, and Darmstandler and Bates wanted their office to be as cutting edge as their IT solutions. They also wanted the space to reflect and encourage the sense of humor that’s so crucial to their culture – and their success. To achieve this, Soares included subtle tongue-in-cheek references to the cult classic movie Office Space and numerous other playful details, including a dedicated ping pong room complete with fuzzy astroturf flooring and a color scheme that boasts bold pops of orange. It’s a workspace that even the most cynical corporate drone couldn’t help but find exhilarating.
Inspiration Q-and-A with David Darmstandler and James Bates of Data Path
DK: What do you really love about your office?
JB: I love this open conference room. It represents thinking outside the box – you aren’t boxed in here. And of course, the ping pong room is awesome. It’s part of our culture.
DD: I would agree, when people come back here and see our open conference room, they’re wowed. You don’t have walls up against you, so you feel open. It’s great for thinking out loud and coming up with solutions for customers.
DK: What are the benefits of a good office design?
JB: Recruitment, definitely. A lot of the people we’re attracting work at very good companies in the Bay Area. They’re saying ‘I didn’t know anything like this existed in the Valley.’
DD: Let’s face it: you spend the majority of your life in an office if you’re a working professional. So we thought, let’s make it a place you want to be, let’s make it a place where you come in and it’s positive. We already knew we had the right culture – we wanted to showcase it right when people came in.
JB: And our customers love it. They feel like we’re moving them forward, and our office represents that.
DK: What’s your best advice for people looking to update their office space?
JB: Make it representative of who you really are. Don’t put yourself in the box of what everybody else is doing.
DD: I agree with James, you want it to fit you and I think this fits our culture. I mean, it’s pretty frequent that there’s a skateboard going up and down our hallway. The “TEAMWORK” sign out there has been reworked a thousand different ways, mainly to inappropriate words. Our mission is to make this the best place anyone’s worked. When you do that, everyone loves being here – they collaborate more, they work harder, they innovate, they want to see the whole organization be successful. So enjoy yourself. Do at least one practical joke a day.