Googly eyes and pom-poms, 3D printers and lasers—it looks a lot like heaven.
All it takes is our incessant curiosity and a very special, albeit vague, invitation for us to pack our bags and get on the next flight out to a very special location. Like when Nike drops you an invite to visit their headquarters in Portland, Oregon, implying only that it’s to get a real, no-BS peek behind the curtain, with no further details given. But if you know anything about Nike, you know whatever they have planned is worth the 3000-mile journey. Let us tell you, this time was no exception.
First, they shuttled us to the super-secret location (which came with its own set of house rules: no geotags, no wide photos, no touching) of DNA (Department of Nike Archives) to view thousands of artifacts from Nike’s past. But we showed you that part already. What we haven’t yet shared are all the other parts of their expansive campus—like the Tiger Woods building, which was outfitted with a massive curved closet featuring monochromatic sneakers (it’s like they knew we were coming or something?) and cozy couches for us to lounge on between workouts (what, you thought they’d let us off before breaking a sweat?). And the Nature of Motion exhibit, where Nike designers display their conceptual interpretations of a shoe that mimics the sensation of running on grass. And then, finally, to the ultimate adult craft room, the Blue Ribbon Studio, where any (any!) Nike employee can flex their creative muscle and play with everything from 3D printers to laser cutters, patented tech-fabrics to googly eyes and pom-poms.
Click through to see just how great Nike employees have it.