DesignStudio

We chat with DesignStudio London's Design Director, Elise about her time at the magical Fabrica in Italy, the vibrant design scene in London and how Graphic Design (as a discipline) is dead.

Tell us a bit about yourself and the studio that you work for.

I'm one of four Design Directors at DesignStudio London. It's a branding agency, but I don't come from a branding background.

Before DesignStudio I was doing a residency at Fabrica in Italy, and before that I worked in different studios in Melbourne and Sydney and did lots of projects on the side.

What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?

I didn't have much of a plan to be honest. I wanted to get as much experience as possible, with as many different kinds of design as I could. I was originally drawn to editorial design, but as I got more and more experience, I saw how wide and far reaching design could be, which only made me more interested in specialising less.

I grew to love the idea of being super multi-disciplinary and applying that thinking to whatever I did.

Design work by DesignStudio The Design Kids interviews DesignStudio work-2

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?

16 is pretty young...but when I was starting my design 'career' I guess I'd tell myself to chill out, take your time, try as many different things as you can. Look around. Don't specialise too soon.

Look at stuff outside the world of design. If you don't agree with something, make it better. Be idealistic. Be cynical. Don't take yourself too seriously.

What is the design landscape like in your city and where do you fit in?

Super vibrant. London can be exhausting and overwhelming, but you can never complain about there being nothing to do and nothing new to see. There's always something weird or surprising or intellectual going on. London's got an amazing amount of cultural institutions putting their weight behind interesting things.

At DesignStudio we're trying more and more to have a voice in the landscape, and be contributing to it through the work we do and events we put on from time to time.

Design work by DesignStudio The Design Kids interviews DesignStudio work-4
Design work by DesignStudio The Design Kids interviews DesignStudio work-4

I grew to love the idea of being super multi-disciplinary and applying that thinking to whatever I did.

What qualities and skills to you look for in a graduate?

Hunger, energy, adaptability, awareness, lots of grit, very little ego, playfulness, humour.

Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?

Graphic design (as a discipline) is dead. There will be less specialists and more generalists. We need to be able to think about things in much more fluid ways. I'm (trying to) keep up by doing things like coding and product design, but also just generally trying to stay aware of what's going on in the world.

Design work by DesignStudio The Design Kids interviews DesignStudio work-6
Design work by DesignStudio The Design Kids interviews DesignStudio work-6

Where to find DesignStudio online.

Website: design.studio

Instagram: @designstudio

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