Some sad-but-proud news!
Tom Armitage was employee #1, making the leap to join BERG before it was named BERG. For 2 years he’s been both creative technologist and writer, leading technology on several projects, and also running the online face of the studio through his blogging and longer form pieces. When he’s coding, he has the rare gift of solid interaction design intuitions. And in the room, he seems to know of every weird design project and obscure game ever, and can hook you up with relevant links to whatever you’re researching.
And now he’s off! Tom is joining the London game design studio Hide & Seek as a Game Designer. We’ve been watching Hide & Seek for a while — they’re an exciting practice in the rapidly growing area of games and public experiences. And Tom is passionate about games and what they mean to people. Check out his recent talk, Things Rules Do.
It’s a great move for Tom, and we’re very proud of him.
Matt Brown has been with us as senior designer and chief of music since mid 2009. He’s a wide-ranging and inventive talent, as deft with illustration and composing music as he is prototyping procedurally generated graphics and crafting beautiful and natural interfaces. He’s grown into running projects with us, and working directly at the weird creative coherence where multiple design strands overlap and coincide. When I talk about BERG as a studio, producing work which is inventive, beautiful and populist, it’s Matt’s work which has been right at the centre of that.
And at the end of March, he’s off too. Matt is moving from London to Cupertino, to invent the future as part of a jaw-droppingly impressive team. He’s joining the Human Interface Device Prototyping group at Apple as a designer/prototyper.
The news of his leaving is countered only by our terrific pride at seeing our boy done so good.
Our culture and way of working is what makes us BERG. And our culture is made by our people. Everyone here has a colossal impact on the life of the room. Nobody just “fits in,” we grow together — learning, teaching and developing as we go. Tom and Matt B are irreplaceable, we’ll miss them enormously!
That said, one of the things that makes me most pleased is that the studio is a place that people travel through and move on from. I’m proud of our alumni! When they achieve great things, I admit I take a good deal of satisfaction that a fellow traveller has carried a little bit of BERG into the world.
We keep it quiet, but the secret history of our name is that is stands for the British Experimental Rocket Group. Our experimental rockets are our people.
So what next?
The studio will grow and change. We’re established enough that we can treat these moments as opportunities. It was surprising and gratifying to have Fast Company place us #4 in their list of most innovative design firms, in such illustrious company as Stamen, IDEO and Pentagram!
And so I have more changes to announce — soon, when the ink is dry. I can’t wait to tell you.
In the meantime, please lift a glass to Tom and Matt! Congratulations fellas, well done both of you, and thank you for being part of the journey.