Studio Culture Week. Interiorising Empathy & Enterprise studio

Our aim for the day was to create a studio that is both functional and inspirational to work in through collaborating together as a group in designing the layout inside of our given space. We wanted to set up a studio as close as possible to a working commercial studio. We had to consider the overall mood of the space as the theme of our studio is ‘Enterprise’ – we had to consider any visitors to the studio as customers and how we could make people feel welcome within our studio. perhaps making items to sell that our ‘customers’ could purchase such as badges, pencils, sweets, little bags or something made out of paper.  Empathy & Enterprise is about branding so we have to show our attuned eye and feel within branding and with this we decided as a collective group that we should brand ourselves with a colour. We collectively chose the colour blue as the coloured chairs in our studio were also blue, and as a consensus we all preferred the colour blue.

Studio basics

  •  Individual workspace
  •  Noticeboard
  •  Brand wall
  •  Crafting/cutting area
  •  Work in progress area
  •  Studio sign
  •  Studio philosophy

Empathy & Enterprise: our philosophy

  1. Know the problem you’re trying to solve
  2. Design for people. Understand people
  3. Ask questions. Notice details
  4. Make lots. Edit lots
  5. Discovery can be found in the accidental
  6. Work with people who are different to you
  7. Conversations lead to better ideas
  8. Words are pictures. Pictures are messages
  9. Simple isn’t easy
  10. Make it meaningful

First thing we did as a collective studio was take out the furniture we didn’t want in the room and also scavenge for the furniture we did want. To make out studio have the welcoming feel we have taken a couch and have placed it into our space. We also have a kettle for a tea and snack area in which we will also all have our own cups and food. This helps in creating a comfortable environment for ‘customers’ to visit the studio and also for us to work in the space too. We arranged the tables into four separate squares initially and angled them towards each other. Initially we realised that we focused mostly on just the furniture but not the contextual thinking behind why we placed the furniture where we did which our tutor quickly picked up on. whoops! So back tot eh drawing board we then started to take a part our studio physically and contextually. Deciding upon the areas of the wall for a notice board, a work in progress and a brand wall wasn’t easy when we had to consider the layout of the tables and to consider the tables we had to decide whether we wanted hot desking or permanent spaces for each creative. The desk factor was left at a sit where ever you want idea, but with a few desks kept aside for permanent work for whoever wanted them. We painted one of the pillars blue as our studio brand colour. We also came to a collective agreement to have our critique wall on the wall outside the studio, this way our studio ethos and mechanics of how we work as a collective will be broadcast for the other studios and ‘customers’ to see, quite like a display window in a shop our critique wall functions to entice the viewers inside.

Arranging the room was more complex than I had anticipated as the dynamics of the studio had to be considered before we removed the furniture but we couldn’t decide without doing, so we spent hours moving furniture out, bringing furniture in then taking it out again. This became very similar to a team building exercise as I had spoken and held conversations with every fellow creative in my studio, no one was a stranger after this studio move around day. I was extremely happy about this as I feel the future work of the studio will be strong as we are in essence becoming a uniquely different community of creatives. Our own tribe. 

As of yet the studio has been re arranged with a strategy to make the studio more functional and commercial. The layout is not set in  stone as it was suggested that our studio could go on monthly layout rotations.

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