The werkhouse weekend.

James Caig from  True Digital , setting the brief for the weekend.

James Caig from True Digital, setting the brief for the weekend.


A working brief in a commercial studio, with some of Bristol and Bath’s most respected design industry professionals.


"It was fascinating to see how the other directors and team leaders work. Everyone had their own style and approaches to learn from."

Mark Dearman
True Digital

Werkhouse 2017

This was not a design competition or a portfolio review. It was about being better prepared for the business of design. Creative directors, strategists, designers and account managers took students and recent graduates on a deep dive into the creative and interpersonal skills needed to succeed in a design studio. They revealed how they rapidly develop concepts for clients and sell the impact of ideas. All done within a project scenario, five teams and some realistic time pressure. Werkhouse is about the business of design and always remembering the importance of the customer perspective, while focusing on what the client needs to achieve.

• Doing the research, challenging a brief, collaborating with account managers and creating multiple ideas. 

• Working together to make informed decisions and develop propositions. 

• Getting a design idea through – selling the potential, telling the story, convincing your audience.


Jamie Gallagher from  Hello  with Sam Edwards from  Taxi Studio  talking through work process.

Jamie Gallagher from Hello with Sam Edwards from Taxi Studio talking through work process.


"Collaborative, smart, enthusiastic and ego-free. If this lot are representative, the future of design looks bright..."

Jamie Gallagher Hello


The weekend structure

Participants 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.

Day 1 was about exploring the client situation and generating ideas within teams.

Day 2 focussed on filtering, visualising and then sharing team ideas with the whole group. Participants shared ideas, process and thinking. They didn't create finished designs or make formal pitches. The expectation was that everyone contributed and collaborated, sharing ideas and listenings to others. Asking lots of questions, feeling free to challenge, learning from each other and having fun.


"I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for something different to challenge and inspire themselves and their designers."

Kate Lenton
Taxi Studio

Inita Drava, werkhouse participant, presenting a finished concept.

Inita Drava, werkhouse participant, presenting a finished concept.