If you lead an agency or marketing department, you know what the bane of our industry is. It is starved of really good talent. Talent that can fuse genuine, explosive creativity with systemic thinking. The ‘systemic’ part means that these people know a lot about and can use existing digital formats, from media, video or social technologies. And then combine the two realms to form innovative, creative solutions. One of our new recruits, Melissa, actually took a course in Digital Design at Tractor last year, a school established to address this lack of digitally-savvy creative newcomers. And some of the sessions were led by one heck of an inspirational teacher, my colleague Gabriel (see below Mel presenting her project last year).
Gabe and his team mate Dave have kept at it and tirelessly helped teach a new batch of students, the class of 2013, which is now holding their grad show this Thursday.
“Thanks to the generous donation of time by industry experts like Gabriel and the team at Reactive, these young designers are exposed to the best industry practice and processes far sooner than usual. This gives them the experience and confidence to pave the way for the future of Australian Digital Design” says Flyn Tracy, manager and creative leader of Tractor Design School.
So shout out to them for giving back to the industry and raising Reactive’s profile as a place of excellence for digital creativity. If you have time, come along and say hi. Get your tickets here and have a peek at the digital superstars of tomorrow.
Here are a couple of shots from this year’s class visiting the studio at Reactive.
Take some of the brightest and most cutting edge developers in Australia, add a few high profile international speakers from companies such as Google, Financial Times and MailChimp, throw in cold beers, tasty sausages and a sunny balcony and you got the Reactive ‘Code and Snags BBQ’. As part of the renowned ‘Web Directions South‘ conference (currently underway in Sydney) we hosted an impressive group of technical experts who are busy creating the future of the web.
Walking through the crowd, you could hear our own Reactive ubergeeks discussing all kinds of questions with our guests, from the most pressing ones to the most decidedly esoteric. When was the last time you were chatting about musical robots, a metadata language for designers, the future of animation, why the Apple Newton lost to the Palm Pilot and finally the Internet of Things, all within an hour or two? Among our most esteemed visitors was Scott Jenson who used to work on the Apple Newton, Symbian OS, managed the Google mobile UX team and also spent time at Frog Design in California. Please check his blog for great thoughts on how to combine on- and offline in the Internet of Things (IOT).
Drifting through our event was not only the scent of our grilled snags. It was (more metaphorically speaking) the question of ‘what it takes to innovate’. And the answer was present in the group of guests: a lot of experience and skills plus an insatiable appetite for combining things in a new way. And we are curious what these bright minds will come up with next.
Transforming brands, companies and whole industries towards a digital future definitely has one big drawback: no one knows where to find enough good talent for this epic undertaking. That’s why I have always supported progressive, digital education through organisations such as Tractor Design School, AGDA or AWARD. And it’s nice if you get support from your colleagues. My fellow Reactive Sydney creative David Brown for example is now working with the University of Sydney, and has just joined the judging panel of global student design competition OzCHI.
The acronym CHI stands for Computer HumanInteraction and is a vital component of our daily work. Knowing how humans understand, learn and use computer interfaces is crucial for digital success. And this year the OzCHI competition asks a pretty interesting question “What’s the future of email?”. Indeed, what’s the point in all of these 150 Billion (!) emails we send every day. Today workers spend on average 28% of their time in their inbox. And yet, we never seem to really catch up with it. And even if we manage to work through all emails in a day, there is always a fresh new batch coming in tomorrow.
As a special rule of OzCHI, students can only work on their ideas with a 24-hour time frame. Although a pretty exhausting mental sprint for all teams, it also forces them to rapidly test assumptions, discard some of them and learn what will stick. Acquiring these agile techniques will prepare them well for the real world of businesses and brands reinventing themselves.
I can’t wait to see the ideas of the class of 2013.
As I am contributing to AustralianInFront I wanted to make everyone aware of the top creative event in August: Field Trip on Aug 30, that’s Friday next week at Darling Harbour.
Taking the Powerpoint out of it, the presenters are practising their craft as they present. Really cool concept that puts the fun back into listening to a good ‘show and tell’. And it’s great inspiration for all you agency folks and your creative team members. See and hear from charming individuals like Georgia Perry, We Buy Your Kids and Heath Killen. And if you want to score some of the last tickets, hit me up for a code to get a 20% off at check out.
I look forward to seeing you next week for drinks, a chat and inspiration.
Much has been said about ‘design thinking’ and ‘iterative development’ of ideas and products solving our world’s problems. But with this post I just want to solve my own little problem: finding 2 designers for our team at Reactive Sydney.
At Reactive we love design, and are already pretty good at it judging from the awards we keep winning like Cannes, TheFWA, IAB or Webby. And we offer anyone who joins us a bloody awesome range of clients and projects. I could mention our independent ownership, 5 offices around the world, Sydney’s perfect office location in the heart of Surry Hills, the collaborative, thoughtful and friendly working style and not least of all, a quarterly Research & Development Day. But in the end, it’s all about the work. Your work, and what you want to achieve in the future.
Have a look at the range below and click thorough some of the experiences. And if our work speaks to you, your ambitions and you think Reactive is the right place for you, then please drop us a line here
And here is a video of myself speaking at Ignite Sydney, pointing to the interface challenges of today, it’s now all about the Touch.
Posted in design
Tagged creativity, job