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Post #1209

Week 235

Schulze is on holiday. Matt Jones is with Bonnier R&D in San Francisco, delivering the films the team produced for this stage, and kicking off the next. The films are gorgeous and spot on. Tom is bringing Ashdown to life (we’ll have a friends+family alpha for the end of next week).

I am on the bounce.

Matt Brown’s design work on Kendrick and Ashdown is beautiful, inventive, and human. Nick prepped me for the Kendrick client meeting on Thursday with an iPhone app demo build that got confirmations in all the right places, and excitement in a number of surprising ones. Ben Griffiths is scraping colossal amounts of education data. Georgina’s research into UK education is insightful and the report she delivers next week will be super useful. Benjamin’s cybernetics research is beginning to illuminate the links between a vast cast of characters. The building work continues.

And Kari Stewart is joining us as Studio Manager! She starts in January. This is excellent.

When a studio is really working, people and ideas feed off one another. Code or design will reveal an opportunity or a problem. An idea will be floated. Someone will take it, reference something they know (an unusual style of photography; a rare game format from the 1980s; the nature of time and space), spin it and throw it back. Ideas fold and stretch. And then, somehow, something simple and to the point will appear, and that’ll be the new direction. It doesn’t matter what people are working on, everyone has something to add. There is a kind of multiplier effect, the more people are in flow, in the studio.

What I try to concentrate on is enabling this studio-wide flow. When it’s working well I’m buoyant, exuberant.

What blocks it? Concerns about direction, time, support or money; overwork; unhappiness; lack of confidence in the work; lack of openness to critique.

How can it be steered? Enthusiasm and passion, examples and influences, shared values.

What do we value? That which is: Popular. Inventive. Beautiful.

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