Celebrating 20 Years: Looking Back & Looking Ahead

It’s hard to believe that this year Thinkwell has turned 20.

When Thinkwell first started, the owners thought we’d be a small, boutique firm, serving just a handful of clients in the theme park industry. Needless to say, we’ve outgrown that vision several-fold. With projects on almost every continent and at every scale, from adorable little 300 square foot children’s exhibits you want to hug to the world’s largest indoor theme park, we’ve been to places, dreamed up concepts, and built things we never imagined back in the Fall of 2001.

The moments that stand out to us over the years inevitably come down to people: the colleagues and clients who have become our friends, the current and former Thinkwellians doing amazing things out in the world, the guests who are awed and overjoyed in our creations. The isolation and strangeness of 2020 has made us miss the people in our industry all the more intensely, and reinforced for us the truth of how the places we design and build really are meant to be enjoyed together as social experiences.

So we hope you’ll join us throughout the rest of the year through continued employee, client, and collaborator stories that explore and celebrate the best of Thinkwell – from looking back at the moments Thinkwellians hold dear from projects over the years, to a few behind-the-scenes and never-before-heard stories, and of course, a look towards the future of what the next 20 years will begin to look like for us.

We’re grateful for every client and collaborator we’ve had the opportunity to work with over these two decades, and for every guest our clients have had the pleasure of inviting into their experiences we’ve worked so diligently to create.

Thank you.

Thinkwell, Transformed

As we start to come out the other side of the pandemic in the United States, it’s time we give you a status report on Thinkwell. Over the course of the last 15 months, we’ve shared how we started our own Diversity & Inclusion Council within the Thinkwell organization, made up of volunteers from our ranks. We’ve talked about “Thinkwell 3.0,” reinventing our own culture internally to reduce toxicity, improve morale, and ensure a support structure is in place for our team members working from home. In our Montreal studio, a sharp focus on mental health has been put into place. We are currently at work on our Sustainability focus as well, both internally and externally for our clients’ projects. All these initiatives have made Thinkwell better.

But the pandemic hasn’t been without its struggles. Our beautiful studio space at the Media Center in Los Angeles had to be reconsidered. As Thinkwell moves officially to a hybrid work model—work from anywhere (WFA) and collaboration in-office—we have also looked at our own space needs and have downsized our footprint in our current Los Angeles building. Thinkwell Media remains in the current MPAA-certified space in our 2710 Media Center Drive offices, combined with workspaces for our LA-based teams and conference rooms for in-person client meetings and presentations.

As we continue to evaluate our space needs and develop plans for an eventual new location, our goal is to create a great hybrid workspace in LA that serves our global clients and offices and reflects not only who we are as a company, but also how we work as individuals. Flex workspaces and collaboration zones, quiet focus areas, and presentation conference rooms are going to fill Thinkwell’s new headquarters. Keeping the conversation going and work flowing while maintaining seamless communication and collaboration with Thinkwellians around the world is the key to our new offices—all built on the hybrid work model we’ve chosen to embrace.

We were excited to share with the world our new (at the time) studio space when we moved into the Media Center in 2015, and we’re excited to give you an update on our new collaboration plans and the current changes at our Los Angeles headquarters.