Uncommon Union evolved from StudioE9, founded in 2004 by Paul Rene Johnson & Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown. In our first year of operation, we functioned as an independent digital laboratory that worked with agencies and cultural institutions. Our first agency partner was the London-based, Iris Nation, whom we collaborated with as they established offices in NYC. After winning the Sony Ericsson account for our campaign introducing the first high resolution camera phone into the North American market, StudioE9 grew to offer a range of mobile and emerging technology services. During this time, StudioE9 operated out of the MoMA / PS1 Clocktower Media Lab. In addition to growing agency accounts, StudioE9 supported MoMA / PS1′s online cultural projects.
This range of work defined StudioE9 as having a uniquely creative and technical culture. Among the projects developed during this time, StudioE9 pioneered streaming and on demand mobile applications. Awards and significant press for our Viral Loop campaign, developed forAdam Penenberg’s book of the same name, attracted new agency partners. TBA Global subsequently invited StudioE9 to open a laboratory in their Time’s Square office. In addition to working with TBA in productizing several new technologies, StudioE9 handled client work for Google, BP, Chipotle, Monster, and Walmart.Following the 2010 Haitian earthquake, StudioE9 began to leverage connections it had developed over the years in a new way; to support rebuilding efforts. By establishing partnerships between governments, businesses, celebrities, and non-profits, StudioE9 managed to overcome significant logistical challenges. Coordinating with local businesses and displaced artisans, we achieved distribution of Haitian handicrafts through the GAP. Building on this experience, we went on to found the ethical fashion network, Maiden Nation.