Last week I attended the Glug London event ‘Collaboration is King’ the night featured speakers and teams talking about collaboration and what It meant to them. (As well as more free cans of trendy soft drinks and stickers than I could stuff into my backpack.)
Vikesh Bhatt - Amplify @misterbhatt
Talked to us about what mutually beneficial collaborations can do for businesses to build on an experience, In the case of Uber + Spotify working together to create a great night out experience from home to cab. He also talked about the intention being right before you jump into a collaboration, don’t do it as a box checking exercise and really think about what each party could bring to the partnership.
Robyn + Henry @robynhfrost @Hfoenader
Robyn + Henry are a creative team that work in the advertising world, they talked about the more in sync way they approach projects, each bringing their own expertise to every part of the process. Freeing themselves from the rigid art director/ copywriter binary and giving themselves the space to creatively tackle projects together. They also made a great point about accessibility in the industry, making sure that they help champion minorities by getting in the door and helping others through too.
Sarah + Jules @BBC_Creative
Sarah + Jules are a creative team at BBC creative, helping everything from promoting CBBC to older kids to the great BBC Three ‘Sorry not sorry for being me’ season. Their talk focused on how they work as a duo and showed some older student work which was great to see, you could really see the progression from students into professionals and showing some of their more recent work really highlighted that. They also put up this truly iconic slide.
Middle Boop @Middleboop
Gordon Reid had the task of bringing the evening home with a double length talk due to a speaker dropping out. He talked about skill swapping and playing to your strengths, knowing when to ask for help and what you can offer in return.
I was left thinking about my own practice & why there aren’t more partnerships in the design world.
I also learned that if you want to make a quality presentation chuck in a couple of quality gifs.
The best (and most fun) creative projects I have worked on have been in small teams of people with diverse skills, so I understand the value of breaking down roles that Robyn + Henry speak of, choosing someone because of skill could mean that you choose a classically educated writer to help out visually or a developer working alongside a strategist, I could only see that as being beneficial to a project.
It reminds me of the term 'T-shaped designer' from Tim Brown of IDEO. (That's two IDEO references in two posts, if you are counting) Recognising your core discipline as the vertical stroke and your skills and experiences that can feed into that as the horizontal stroke. For example, My core discipline is Design, however my horizontal stroke could be filmmaking, strategy, content creation or even cooking.
There just needs to be a different umbrella term than ‘creative.’ eurgh.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you feel like people need to be exactly how they trained? Or maybe a little more fluid in their work?
I’d love to know your thoughts. Send me a tweet or drop a comment below.
In case you were wondering, this is the best gif of all time: