DIVIDED WE FALL
Following Glug’s summer blowout, Nick Carson chats to some of the partygoers about the need for unity in divisive times
Our events section took a break last issue so we could squeeze in as much top graduate talent as possible, but back at the end of June, team CA rounded off a packed couple of days touring the London degree shows with some much-needed beers at Glug’s Shoreditch Summer Party.
Taking place during Cannt Festival – the rest of the industry’s two-fingers-up to the exclusive sun-soaked yacht parties of Cannes – the party went for a vibe in keeping with Cannt’s slogan: ‘Cannt be divided.’
We chatted to some of the creatives in attendance about what this actually means in practice, and how our industry can pull together in increasingly divisive times.
“The very nature of creativity is about making connections, and our business operates on the strength of the relationships we form with clients, staff, peers and consumers,” said NB’s Tom Moloney.
Particularly for smaller studios, these connections can have huge practical value: “Without collaboration, you’re limited to the skills you have in-house,” pointed out Ian Hambleton, Output Group’s chief executive. “It’s impossible to hire the best people in every area, so why not work with world-class people in different fields?”
“Strength lies in numbers,” agreed Kyle Wilkinson, co-founder of Hacksaw. ”There is always someone who’s better than you at something: collaborating with them is key to elevating a project.”
Of course, for designers in the UK in particular, the looming uncertainly of Brexit is a divisive force to be reckoned with. “British design is at the top of the tree, but this is only possible because of the many talented foreign nationals that we are lucky to attract to our shores,” said Wilkinson.
“I worry that the amazing abundance of foreign talent will look elsewhere, which would be devastating for British design. Continuing to collaborate with talent from across the globe is key to continually raising the bar.”
Glug organiser Malin Persson is encouraged by the attitude of creative people: “People are standing up to, banging the drums of, and passionately fighting the causes of these issues,” she said. “I believe we’ll soon see a whole lot of action being taken as well.”
Ultimately, Persson continued, emphasising collaboration over competition is how the industry can bridge the gap. “If we all try our hardest to be more diverse, more inclusive, more aware of the highs and the lows, we’ll see a much quicker way out,” she insisted.
Events like Glug that bring the community together play a part: “It’s great to meet new and old friends, chew the fat, unwind, get inspired – and hung-over,” said Moloney, and Wilkinson concurred: “Everyone has a common interest, yet different viewpoints lead to diverse, fascinating conversations.”
This is exactly Glug’s purpose, and Persson has big plans: “I want everyone to know everyone, and to work in a job that is fulfilling and inspiring,” she beamed. “I hope people will use Glug as a platform to achieve this.”
Clockwise from far left: Glug’s packedout Summer Party took place at Cargo in Shoreditch, complete with beer garden and barbeque; stickers were provided to let others know if you’re hiring or job-seeking; the obligatory VR demo.