photos by Bill Purcell
Always an early adopter, Justin Lewis is one of the three owners of Instrument, a completely digital creative agency that specializes in marketing, advertising and graphic design. After Marine Corps service, he started coding HTML in 1999. Since 2004, he has helped build the business into a cutting-edge, 96-person international digital marketing team.
As is apparent by the innovative meeting spaces, funky art, ping pong table, digital wall and the connecting thread of personal stylistic expression by the staff, this is not your typical workplace. Lewis attributes Instrument’s success to a having a “passion for reimagining.”
Three years ago on the fourth of July, Instrument’s main office on Alberta in NE Portland burned down. He drove by this World War II-hangar-turned-event-space in NE Portland shortly thereafter, and bought it and began converting the open to a fun and functional office.
Called “The Outpost,” the teepee is in its third iteration, and is the focal point of the giant room. Acoustic panels make it prime real estate for meetings and conference calls.
Though the agency has had a good ride at the current office, they are currently building a new office from the ground up. “We want Instrument to have a physical presence in Portland,” said Lewis. “Our goal is to be a fixture of this city.”
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