Boundless's Brainy & Bright in Boston

Workspace Tour

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Name: Boundless, Founder & CEO Ariel Diaz
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Size: 3,500 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years

It's easy to tell Boundless is an enthusiastic place. It's not just their logo, which portrays books literally exploding from their pages. No, I think it's all said on the the ever changing chalkboard wall, which hosts both the work of artists and employees, and serves as a glimpse into the minds of this company which hopes to change the way college students consume books forever.

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Boundless set out to make textbooks more affordable for students and educators. It's a bold and desperately needed concept. Simply put, they provide access to popular college textbooks online for free or for a reduced online purchase price. Prices start at $19.99, which if you've checked out the price of college textbooks recently, you know is a bargain.

But Boundless is about more than just books, it's about brains too. Specifically, the brains of the educators who assign the texts. Using Boundless' custom tools, professors can offer up learning plans integrated into the texts they assign. It's easy to see why this smart bookseller was founded in Boston, where some of the brainiest go to get educated.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Scandinavian Modern.

Inspiration: Bauhaus philosophy, with the simplicity and tech sophistication of modern day Apple.

Favorite Element: Our open floor plan. It's perfect for team-building and community.

Biggest Challenge: When we expanded our office, we had to make two completely different spaces feel like one. We had created a strong style in our original space, so when we knocked down a wall and expanded into the space next door, we had to incorporate our style into an entirely new setting.

What Friends Say: Our friends often say they love the openness of our office and our standing desks. When they aren’t commenting on the design, they’re usually telling us how cute Pepe is.

Biggest Embarrassment: The floor to ceiling windows on our “beach,” a bright lounge in the front of our space, were originally installed with ugly Cremone bolt hardware. We had to order more aesthetically-pleasing hardware all the way from England!

Proudest DIY: We went off spec to create affordable standing desks for our entire team. We used birch IKEA desk tops with adjustable legs.

Biggest Indulgence: Phillips Hue lights were our biggest indulgence. These lights can change colors automatically, which is great for notifications, or be controlled via app to create mood lighting for parties, birthdays, or other celebrations. We also outfitted our space in whiteboard walls from IdeaPaint to allow for collaboration and creativity.

Best Advice: Have a simple palette. We keep everything within one tight palette to make our space more uniform: white, birch, brushed metal, and orange.

Dream Sources: We use IKEA for all furniture and Amazon for all supplies, including our stock of nuts and dried fruit for the team. All our artwork is from Christopher Shawn Brown.

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Resources of Note:

HARDWARE

  • Apple — Macbooks, monitors, and Apple cinema display.
  • Projectors controlled through Apple Airplay for meetings.
  • Mounted TVs in both office wings to display key metrics.
  • We also have three 5.1 surround sound systems connected to each of our Apple TVs.

ACCESSORIES

  • Cushioned floor mats help at standing desks.
  • Cubbies for each team member to store belongings.
  • Blackboard walls are great spots for creativity to flow.

LIGHTING

  • Phillips Hue

ART

  • Christopher Shawn Brown

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Thanks, Boundless!

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(Image credits: Joe Webb and Adam Fraser)

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Liz is a writer and filmmaker from Minneapolis. She was nominated for a Webby and won an Emmy for Science of Watchmen, a documentary short about the physics in the comic book movie. She’s a tech obsessive, verified nerd and total Anglophile.

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