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Industry-led design learning.


Finding alternatives to the design graduate pathway.

It’s stating the obvious to say the world is changing rapidly right now, but it really is, and the impact on design services is clear. As well as affecting the types of projects we work on and the ambitions of our clients, it also effects the skills and talents we need to keep ahead of the game. Learning never stops, so it’s no great revelation to say that, as in any other industry, design training must adapt and come together in its different forms to ensure its students have a fully-rounded and relevant skill set.

Following the success of the first werkhouse weekend, we're currently looking at how this idea can evolve in the future. If you would like to know more about the process, or be involved in future delivery or explore new potential, we would like to hear from you.


"My University course didn't give me an idea of what working on a real studio brief would be like."

Maria Centola,
Werkhouse 2017 participant


"As studio owners, many of us felt that design students could benefit from an introduction to real studio life."

Tim Ward,
Head of Design


Putting an idea
into action.

It is in this context that a small group of design professionals from Bristol and Bath got together to deliberate the changing needs of the commercial design industry. How can graduates avoid the shock of deadlines and client negotiation when they enter a real studio environment? Are there other pathways for those talented and creative thinkers for whom university is unaffordable or is just not part of their family’s — or their own — expectation?

What started as a small group of like-minded colleagues, grew to a team of 20 design professionals, and the idea of Werkhouse was born. Werkhouse would be a weekend workshop of studio-led design training; fast-paced, client focussed and team oriented.


"It was great getting the chance to lead a creative team."

David Gordon, Designer


"werkhouse was brilliant, met some lovely people and learnt so much."

Felicity Burfoot, Graduate


32 young creatives,
18 design professionals,
1 weekend...

werkhouse 2017


"Genuinely impressed by the ideas generated by the teams. Well done all involved"

James Caig, Creative Director.


Training new
creative leads.

Participants at werkhouse worked in teams, each led by a designer. Senior professionals rotated throughout to provide their input and ensure that all participants got time with everybody involved. This way of structuring the group work also gave younger designers from the studios involved an invaluable experience in leading a creative team.