Michael McAghon | 08/06/2019

Reusable Collabs

Lately we’ve been exploring the value of personal passions and creative play with our design team’s Collab sessions. During our internal Collab sessions each week, one thing became clear: the work we did, the ideas we came up with and the activities we participated in were too valuable to only be done once.

That’s why we “reran” sessions with other disciplines and clients who were visiting. Those outside of our design group found them to be just as valuable and thoughtful as we did. We started wondering where else these sessions might provide value.

Our designers are constantly looking for ways to learn and grow. Local design meet-up events are great for networking and learning about our industry through the eyes of someone in a slightly different design situation and working environment. However, the format is generally the same: drinks, network, sit down, listen to a talk, check your phone, stare at slides. We saw an opportunity to buck this trend.

We reached out to Design Brew with an unconventional idea — an activity night here in our studio with three hosts. We would divide the attendees into three groups who would rotate through three different Collabs, each with their own participatory activity (we had tested each activity previously with our internal team).

Ashley discussed the importance of storytelling in design, and led an interactive story-building group exercise.

Erin used her university experience studying architecture to explore parti pris and its relation to UX design. A two-part activity led participants to explore a theme in both 2D and 3D spaces.

Nellie talked about empathy in design and challenged attendees to sketch unique design solutions through character and user-need card pairings.

Design Brew had never hosted an event like this before … and neither had we! While prep for this Design at Play event was intense, our studio team rose to the challenge and represented our creative culture well with their smart, experiential, engaging and fun presentations and activities.

Photography by Matt Lewis