EPAM Empathy Lab is yet another suburban tech company that’s opened a Philadelphia satellite office, with new Chinatown digs. Like those other suburban tech companies, Empathy Lab cited outgrowing its Conshohocken office, wanting to recruit from the city and hoping to make commutes easier on its city-dwelling staffers. The move comes roughly one year after the digital agency’s acquisition.
After it was acquired by the publicly-traded software giant EPAM in December 2012, Empathy Lab became the digital strategy arm of Newtown, Pa.-based EPAM, said Empathy Lab cofounder and now EPAM Empathy Lab’s VP of Experience Design Jonathan Lupo. Empathy Lab remained in its three-floor Conshohocken office, a former World War II uniform factory, after the acquisition.
Nothing has changed except the clients, some of which Empathy Lab inherited from EPAM, and the breadth of collaborators, Lupo said, referring to EPAM’s offices in Europe. Empathy Lab does design (user experience, content and visual) work for big brands like cosmetics company Clarins, NBCUniversal and the American Red Cross.
When we visited, we counted about 10 people working out of Empathy Lab’s 6,200 square foot Chinatown office, which opened at the end of 2013. About 100 people work out of the Conshohocken office, Lupo said.
Lupo, 43, cofounded Empathy Lab with Kevin Labick in 2005 after spending 10 years working at New York City interactive agencies. The Lansdale native said he returned to Philadelphia after the bubble burst and found “a thriving interactive scene” in the city. He now lives in Glenside.
There’s a little tech hub growing in the Chinatown and Callowhill area, with Real Food Works (13th and Race), Stuzo (also 13th and Race) and now Empathy Lab (8th and Arch). See photos and video of the space below.
Watch a timelapse of a day at the Chinatown office below.
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