What is the ideal skill set to balance in a creative team?

What is the ideal skill set to balance in a creative team?

That said, to execute some of these broader ideas, the agency regularly needs to engage with freelancers or partners for specialisms. However, in the view of Eric, Campbell and Alex: “This collaboration actually makes things more interesting, and means that we have a bespoke team with exactly the right skills for that particular job.” This network and approach is all part of DesignStudio working towards elevating “our business and ability”, and always by investing “in certain core specialisms, but individuals with a generalist outlook.”

Further along the generalist side of the spectrum is YuJune Park, partner and founder of Synoptic Office, a multi-disciplinary design studio working across design, technology and education. YuJune explains that she’d “loosely describe our team as being generalists, although we do have varying and complementary areas of expertise across interaction design, spatial graphics, and branding”. However, her justification for the generalist description is due to the studio’s approach, especially as “we don’t pigeon-hole ourselves, or our team, into doing one specific kind of work.”

Operating largely as communication designers, due to the wide possibilities of where Synoptic’s work might end up, variation is key. “If we each just burrow down into our area of expertise, it’s challenging to understand a project in its entirety,” YuJune points out. “It’s a bit like the blind man and the elephant. If you only work on the leg or the trunk, you risk missing the elephant.” This approach also aligns with the studio co-founder’s own belief that “skills are tenuous,” rightfully pointing out how: “The skills and software we are using now might be irrelevant in five years. However, the desire to learn how to learn, to see and ask questions will carry you through a lifetime of work.”

This approach has also developed from YuJune’s experience teaching, with both herself and co-founder Caspar Lam on the faculty at Parsons School of Design, “and this has shaped how we approach our design practice.” Looking at a brief as an inquisitive problem, the studio has therefore “always approached design as a method of inquiry”. This has encouraged the studio to follow a cycle with its making. Rather than always repeating the same task with the same skill, “we try to give equal weight to making, thinking, writing, and teaching, with each aspect continually informing the other.”

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