Creative collaborators encouraged to challenge conventions, embrace tension and do what they do best at RGD's Future By Design

On Feb 4, discussion groups in eight cities connected with panelists from Toronto, New York and Washington DC to explore the topic of Creative Collaboration for RGD's latest Future By Design. 



For the first time, RGD Members were invited to log on from their own homes and offices, joining satellite groups in Kingston, Hamilton, London, Sault Ste Marie, Barrie, North Bay and St. Johns Newfoundland to participate in a lively discussion of collaboration for creative projects. 


Vanessa Eckstein RGD of Blok Design and Bob Hambly RGD of Hambly & Woolley in Toronto connected via webcast with Co-founder of Washington DC's Design Army, Jake Lefebure and Partner at Pentagram NY, Emily Oberman to share their experiences participating in collaborative creative projects. 



Bob began with a look at Hambly & Woolley's work with multiple contributors and suppliers to create the 'Bees' edition of Wayward Arts Magazine, identifying four important factors for successful collaboration: interest in the project, time to complete it, freedom for contributors to express their own ideas and credit to everyone involved. Vanessa's case study explored the creative process of designing the VUHL race car in Mexico City - a project taking Blok designers out of their comfort zone to explore unfamiliar territory, followed by a presentation from Jake on the development of 'Project Skywalker' swatch book for Neenah Paper. Case studies wrapped up with Emily sharing an in-depth look at the 20-year design evolution of the opening credits for NBC's Saturday Night Live. 




"I look forward to sharing upcoming Future By Design discussions with others from my office - I'm impressed with the calibre of international panelists that have signed on to participate in this series!" - Lynn Ridley RGD, Hamilton  





"There is a strong community of designers here in London who look forward to attending design-related events - it is great to have opportunities to build on this and create more awareness of the design industry at large" -- Jason Recker RGD, London




Top 10 insights from the event: 

1. "Collaboration is a driving force in the process of design that pushes us into a new dimension and enables us to see things and do things differently." - Vanessa Eckstein RGD 


2. "There are moments of friction, but that's to be expected with creative minds at work. You want to get to a point in the process where the people involved know what works, you know what buttons to hit and that's where the magic happens." - Jake Lefebure 


3. "There's something exhilarating about the level of tension that exists in a collaboration like SNL with so many different moving parts...the excitement is both a curse and a joy. It's high-pressure, but it really encourages you to bring your A-game." - Emily Oberman 


4. "People think collaboration is about compromise, but it's about pushing the limits of an idea to the point where you find a solution that makes everyone happy - not cutting it short, but pushing things further." - Vanessa Eckstein RGD


5. "I'm a bit of a mind-map freak -it's great way for a group working together to throw down ideas, to create a kind of road-map for where we might head with a project." - Bob Hambly RGD


6. "When you're looking for people to work with, focus on the things you love. Being creative is what we love to do, so those are the kind of people we like to work with." - Jake Lefebure  


7. "When you're constantly working with a rolling cast of characters from designers, to clients, to the ultimate decision-maker, the whole project evolves depending on who you're dealing with." - Emily Oberman 


8. "It's not just about bringing your own ideas to the table; it's about challenging those ideas - it's a seductive tension, with honesty and diversity. It's about questioning the process." - Vanessa Eckstein RGD


9. "Get people at their best, listen to them and find out how they want to contribute." - Bob Hambly RGD


10. "The beauty of this creative process is getting to work with so many different people and reinvent the same idea over and over to see where you can push it next." - Emily Oberman 



On Twitter: 


Ivonne Karamoy @ivonnekn (Toronto): Great discussions at #rgdfbd Thank you @RGD @hamblywoolley @DesignArmy @emilyoberman and Vanessa Eckstein of Blok Design


Brian Chard Design @BrianTChard (Kingston): An educational evening. Good stories. Thanks! #rgdfbd  


Tamm + Kit @TammandKit (Toronto): Had a great time @RGD's Future By Design. Thanks for putting on an informative night full of insight into how others collaborate #rgdFBD


VS Group @VSGroupNB (North Bay): Great to hear the history of collaboration on the #SNL identity @emilyoberman



Thank you to Daniel Kim Prov RGD for his photos from Toronto. View the full set on RGD's Flickr page


For more discussion from Future By Design: Creative Collaboration search the hash tag #rgdFBD on Twitter.  


Our next Future By Design will be on May 6. Contact to find out how to participate.