BRIAN STUMPFWe couldn’t take Brian off our website. He was an integral weave in the fabric of this team for years, and it seemed unkind and callous to unceremoniously delete him, as inconsequential as a company website may be. So we’re moving him here, so his smiling face will live on in virtual perpetuity.

We first met Brian five years ago. SPACE hosted a second Little Free Library design competition, and the winner came out of left field: The designer and builder wasn’t from an architecture firm, the demographic who usually participated: he was the father of the best friend of one of our designers. Brian thought it sounded like a fun project, so he he did all the planning and building in his spare time in his workshop, all outside of his full-time job. It was whimsical, thoughtfully-designed, and well-built to withstand the elements and little hands grabbing books.

Shortly thereafter, he came to work with us, and the office was never the same. Brian had the same approach to work so many successful designers do: the powerful combination of perfectionism and unrelenting hard work. Nothing was ever half-done, and it was done to the absolute best of his ability, drawing from a whole career of working in a variety of different disciplines. He was endlessly curious about design, and we loved collaborating with him on detailing and constructability because we learned so much from him.

However, most importantly, he brought a levity to the office that we didn’t know we needed. He was the kindest guy many of us have ever met, quick to crack a good-natured joke, and he was always there with a helping hand or an ice cream sandwich. Most of the time you couldn’t get a request out of your mouth, and it was immediately met with the standard, “No big deal”, and it was as good as done. He was the office dad, helping replace broken headlights, always asking about your family, and surprising you with an order of fries from BeastCraft next door. (Beast’s seared potato salad was one of his favorite things, right up there next to UnionLoafers’ chocolate chip cookies, Urban Chestnut’s mushroom and ricotta pizza, and Cyrano’s bread pudding.)

In his spare time, he crafted beautiful wood toys for children, though they were really immaculate heirlooms. Kids loved him, and he had an incredible way with them. (Some of that may be due to a similar sense of humor…we’re still finding the remote-controlled fart machines in the office.) When Friday came to work as a wee puppy, she was a little hesitant around him. But pretty soon she would lay under his desk while he ate his lunch, eagerly awaiting one of the special treats he brought for her.

Brian, we miss you terribly. You set the bar high, and we endeavor to learn from your extraordinary example of patience, kindness, and good humor. Thank you for being so wonderfully you.

Brian’s Dr Seuss-inspired Little Free Library.