Week Five: The Collaborative Mix

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Part one of the lecture for this week was a talk under the title 'Design to Change the World' taken from the 2018 London Design Festival chaired by Susanna Edwards.

First to talk was Christoph Miller from Offshore Studio based in Zurich. Offshore Studio create work embedded in Swiss ideals combined with international elements as a way to disrupt this. They create content working as designers, researchers and editors. The studio was created by Christoph and his partner Isabel in 2016, and they describe it as a multi-disciplinary graphic design studio. Their main clients come from the cultural field, such as photographers and artists. Christoph spoke about Migrant Journal through the talk.

Image: https://migrantjournal.com/products/pre-order-migrant-journal-no-3-flowing-grounds

Image: https://migrantjournal.com/products/pre-order-migrant-journal-no-3-flowing-grounds


  • Migrant Journal is a long-term project created in light of the 2015 Syrian migrant crisis.

  • The publication looks at migration in all of its forms, such as animals, money, information.

  • The team involved are located in numerous countries, reflecting the nature of migration and fluidity.

Image: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-5-lecture-collaboration-case-studies?module_item_id=50669

  • They wanted to reconsider the relationship between the editorial and design process throughout the publication.

  • Beautiful infographics and maps spark interest.

  • Created their own font for the publication called Migrant Grotesk, which they continually improve with each publication.

  • The publication has morphed into live talks and other events.

The second designer to talk was Morag Myerscough, whose mantra is 'make happy those who are near and those who are far will come.'

Morag is fascinated by how colour and pattern can change environments, and she transforms public spaces by creating engaging experiences for everyone. In this talk, she spoke about a project she worked on for a children's ward in a hospital in Sheffield.

Image: https://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/morag-myerscough-giving-spaces-character-and-sensitivity-through-use-colour

  • Had previously in the hospital environment for 6/7 years.

  • She worked with Guy Noble and poet Lemn Sissay.

  • Cat Powell runs Artfelt, a charity that puts art into hospitals in Sheffield.

  • Giving hospital bedrooms for children a human side.

  • Using materials such as wood creates warmth.

  • The biggest challenge was getting clinical staff on her side.

  • It's essential to get the proper collaboration.

  • Attention to detail is important.

Q+A with both Morag and Christoph and the audience and Susanna

Is the role of participation an ongoing process?


  • Go back and record the responses to see if they're successful

  • Improve with the responses.

  • Unfortunately, it requires money to go back.

All of your work is participatory; how is that built and grown as a methodology within your work?


  • The contemporary work leads to more permanent work.

What gives designers the right to interrogate and participate in clinical or deeply troubling matters of social need? Should new forms of learning be integrated into design education to equip designers to deal with this growing field of work, or is it about a much more collaborative process?


  • I work from a very emotional part of my being.

  • I'm obsessed with belonging and why people feel comfortable in spaces.

  • It's a collaborative process, getting the right person coming from the right place.

  • It's more of an organic process rather than something that can be taught.

What do your experiences mean to you regarding the future of cross-disciplinary work and cross-cultural collaboration?


  • It's like a playground.

  • Experimenting and learning.

In regards to Migrant Journal, how do you reach your audience?


  • A crowdfunding campaign for the first issue.

  • The first 800 copies sold out.

Do you feel that communication designers are now more intellectually and creatively equipped to innovate in social and political research areas? Is this integration of design and social sciences essential for more speculative interpretation and resolution of the worlds or societies' needs?


  • During education, it's important to explore your horizons as much as possible.

  • Go to other fields of study.

Morag, what would you do differently next time to not experience that level of negative response?


  • Take people to the places where the work already exists.

  • Showing people examplar places/objects.

  • You have actually to do like for like.

What's the plan to monitor your hospital work and take the feedback on board to influence new projects and get this going in more hospitals around the UK?


  • The project has generated a lot of press, so it has had an outreach.

  • I've encouraged feedback.

It was interesting to see that both designers were challenging perceptions. Migrant is detailing that the term 'migrant' isn't fixed to just people; it's in everything and is vital, the migration of information, wildlife, money, food and other resources. Morag's work is challenging how we perceive hospitals and because they're clinical spaces, should that be reflected in every part of their presence? Especially in children's wards where children need to feel comfortable, unafraid and safe in such an intimidating environment.

Part two of the lecture for this week was a talk under the title 'Design to Change the World' taken from the 2018 London Design Festival chaired by Susanna Edwards.

The second talk was with Kennenberg White, a London-based studio developing visual languages that are responsive, playful, and process-led. They're a multidisciplinary studio and focus on identities, publications, exhibitions, wayfinding and digital platforms. They collaborate with artists, curators, architects and designers, as well as illustrators and photographers. In the talk, they discussed a recent project with MIMA, which focused on a new direction for museums and questions what might be a useul museum.

The first person to talk was Kenjiro Kirton, the co-founder and creative director of the design agency Hato. Hato has studios in London and Hong Kong and specialises in crafting and leading cultural projects for various sectors. Hato's ethos is to create design that engages its communities through creative play. In the talk, Kenjiro discussed how digital books and co-creative frameworks empower people to see things differently and create informed communities.


  • Through co-creation, we can create more engaged societies, one that can create informed communities.

  • Communities engaged through the Hato risograph print press.

  • Believe in having a responsibility to an environmental community and creative community.

  • Look at how people can innovate each other through creation.

  • Children designed the outside of a bus which showed pictograms of certain things within Liverpool.

  • The bus was inspired by NASA's messages into space in the 1970's.

  • Children were in charge of the project, inspired by working methods.

  • D&AD festivals 2018 brief was to create a marketing campaign, a festival identity, moving image idents and a whole array of graphic outputs.

  • Making your own mark.

  • Expressing individual identity whilst also creating a collaborative identity.

  • They were used throughout the festival.

Image: https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/hato-d-and-a-d-festival-2018-visual-identity-advertising-240418

Image: https://www.itsnicethat.com/news/hato-d-and-a-d-festival-2018-visual-identity-advertising-240418

The second talk was with Kennenberg White, a London-based studio developing visual languages that are responsive, playful, and process-led.


  • Two projects were formed of informed by the public.

  • MIMA's plan seeks to reconnect art institutions with a social function.

  • Began the project by organising a workshop with everyone that worked at MIMA.

  • John Ruskin's quest to reintegrate the processes of thinking and making.

  • Each person at the workshop was given a lino print to document the conversation.

  • The bridged they initially first walked across into Middlesborough was infused throughout the exhibition.

  • Ethos is driven by making and thinking

  • Inspired by their printer.

  • Asked the general public questions, and their answers were typed then printed.


  • Alphabet is a furniture design, typeface and art installation.

  • Do a lot of typefaces.

  • Brief: 'Broadgate'.

  • Uncomfortable chair, Bruno Munari.

  • Bruce McLean A Retrospective.

  • How somebody, when they interact with something, becomes part of the design.

Image: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-5-lecture-collaboration-case-studies?module_item_id=50669

Image: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-5-lecture-collaboration-case-studies?module_item_id=50669


What's your view on the relationship between idea and form in your work? And the aesthetic you use? How can contemporary design engage or create a bridge of understanding with more avant-garde/abstract ideas, particularly in a museum/exhibition context?


  • We have a studio with computers, books and places to chat.

  • All projects we do start with a conversation.

  • We usually explore a place a lot.

You both use graphic design as a democratic tool or process that involves public participation. What was the feedback from the museum participants? What's their relationship to the process, outcome and ongoing process. Is there an iterative process in this sort of participation?


  • The way that we designed for MIMA could have only happened in a way through this iterative process.

  • Gaining control and losing it again and having time to process that.

Ken, you talk about play as the original form of collaboration. How have you developed your views on this? How do you deploy this approach when working with global clients/work through London and Hong Kong?


  • Play is an attitude we have.

  • Play is how we deal with our working process.

  • Hong Kong is a different design community.

Is global collaboration now essential? How can this broader perspective inform locally centred design questions? Can things that you are learning from a global perspective inform the local decisions that you are making?


  • I definitely think that the local 100% needs to inform the global problem-solving.

Do you think co-creation is becoming part of all major design briefs in the future, or will they remain niche?


  • Listening is a form of co-creation, design is a service, so co-creation is a big part of everything we do.

Part 3: Case Studies: Pearl Fisher: Havana Club 3 and Jameson Ltd Edition

Havana Club 3 and Jameson Ltd Edition collaborative projects by Pearl Fisher, London

Havana Club 3

  • Pearl Fisher has created a vibrant and energetic visual identity system for the iconic rum brand Havana Club 3.

  • Visual identity to better align it with the brand's vision, strategy and uniquely Cuban heritage.

  • Pearl Fisher travelled to Havana to work with local artists and illustrators to ensure the true Cuban spirit was captured in the design.

  • Conveying the expressive culture of Cuba.

Image: https://creativepool.com/pearlfisher/projects/havana-club-3-anos


  • Jameson collaborates with a different artist each year to create its unique and eclectic limited edition bottle.

  • Pearl Fisher collaborated with a group of artists to bring the idea of togetherness to life through the design process and execution.

  • The design on the bottle (by three artists) included illustration, icons and photography.

Image: https://worldbranddesign.com/pearlfishers-limited-ddition-jameson-bottle-for-st-patricks-day%EF%BB%BF/

Nicer Tuesdays (Magazines): Danielle Pender (Riposte)

Image: https://www.ripostemagazine.com/shop-1

  • Danielle Pender is the founder and editor of Riposte magazine.

  • Inspired by strong, independent women from the music industry from the nineties.

  • Couldn't relate to modern magazines aimed at women.

It was clear from Danielle's talk that Riposte magazine is hugely collaborative with a mix of illustrators, photographers, writers and editors from all over the world. It was interesting to hear that they couldn't afford a photographer to take portraits on one occasion, so they used an artist to draw the images and paint them instead. It shows that being open to collaboration brings opportunities that might otherwise get overlooked, not focusing on having something a particular way. Having collaborators from all over the world doesn't just provide a collaboration of skills but cultures, personalities and ways of thinking too, which can only be a valuable asset.

Workshop Challenge

300 Words

Being a fan of Noel Fielding, I was intrigued by his collaboration with Fendi at the beginning of the year, so I decided to research a little more into this collaboration and how it came about. In Vogue, Silvia Venturini Fendi described that using Noel's colourful creations in the designs was an optimistic insight into the future (post-Covid). She predicts that, once again, we'll be freely walking down the street, meeting with friends, living a carefree life in colour. In regards to how the collaboration came to be, In an interview with Dazed Digital, Noel mentions how Silvia approached him, saying she liked his artwork and wanted to see more. Noel described how he sent them around one hundred pieces of his work, which eventually got narrowed down to 25. He then went on to say, "Then I did some other stuff like playing around with their logo, and more stream-of-consciousness stuff. Silvia was trying to keep her eye on the bigger picture, so it was really down to her", which shows there was a dynamic between the collaboration and essentially Silvia was making the final decisions which Noel was appreciative of. Noel also mentions how he likes Fendi, how "playful", "colourful", and "quirky" they are, so the feeling of liking what one another did was mutual, which is crucial in any collaborative process for it to be successful.

Regarding the success of the collaboration falls partly into the hands of the fashion critics, The Times likened it to more abstract collaborations such as the one between Heidi Klum and Lidl in 2017. In contrast, esquire noted the optimism, looking into the future, driven by this collaboration, which I think is a perfect point to conclude on. The collaboration between Fendi and Noel isn't as bizarre as some think when you take Silvia's original vision into account, it makes perfect sense. Sylvia wanted to share her optimism of the future (post-Covid). Her vision of vibrant colours, humanity being free once again is perfectly captured in Noel's work and Noel himself.

For my editorial, I began just playing with the text in illustrator and quickly discovered that both Noel and Fendi have an 'e' that I could use to link them to reflect the link between them collaborating. I then looked at the clothing designs that Noel created for Fendi and used the colours to focus my colour palette.

Image: https://www.fendi.com/tw-en/man/highlights/fall-winter-2021-22-collection/fall-winter-2021-22-collection-looks/?look=look-cf4d70a7-c372-4647-b93b-7491fc7ddd35


It has been interesting hearing/reading the different case studies around collaboration this week. I was thrilled to research the collaboration between Noel Fielding and Fendi, which I got riso printed! My favourite things coming together.


www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Nicer Tuesdays (Magazines) : Danielle Pender (Riposte). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOWyVOy7JwM [Accessed 3 Jul. 2021].

flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-5-lecture-collaboration-case-studies?module_item_id=50669 [Accessed 3 Jul. 2021].

flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-5-lecture-case-studies-pearl-fisher-havana-club-3-and-jameson-ltd-edition?module_item_id=50670 [Accessed 3 Jul. 2021].

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