With offices in Texas’ four major cities and additional offices across the American South, the landscape architecture and planning firm TBG Partners is steadily expanding its design influence across the nation. Founded in 1987–they just celebrated their 25th year anniversary last year–by Earl Broussard and Tom Afflerbach in Austin, the firm has enjoyed tremendous growth in a short period of time.
When I arrived to Texas I was contacted by landscape architect Matt Kellogg of MKSK who recommended that I visit TBG Partners. He kindly put me in touch with Lauren Norton of TBG Partners and I’m really glad that he did.
Lauren and JJ took the reins on leading me on a tour of their office. There’s a really fun energy in the office, with near-weekly celebrations and office parties that draw the office together as a tight knit family.
The layout of the office also helps to bring people together. In place of isolating cubicles, the office consists of low walls divided into pods, areas that seat four people. Each pod features a mix of people who don’t typically work on the same projects together; it gives everyone in the office the chance to interact with someone new. Seating arrangements also change every year to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. By mixing it up every year, this method encourages knowledge exchange across disciplines and relationship-building between people of different personality types and backgrounds.
The pod that you belong also becomes your team for various office events, such as Halloween costume planning. Some favorites from last year included dressing up as a quartet of Angry Birds and a team of four Will Ferrells. From pumpkin carving contests to retreats and an annual office olympics, it’s clear that TBG Partners really believes that work should also be really fun (check out their facebook for more.)
Towards lunchtime, we headed over to Ragin’ Cajun for some Louisiana bayou Cajun cuisine of po boys, gumbo, and crawfish. It was delicious!
TBG Partners has a laid-back and friendly vibe to it, thanks largely to the people, but also because of the annual office activities and seating rotation. Thanks for the visit!