Week Seven: Approaches and Strategies for Working Today and Delivering Creative Services

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Lecture One: Collaboration Around the Globe

Collaboration around the world: Alec Dudson in conversation with Ken Kirton, co-founder and creative director of Hato.

Ken Kirton/Hato

  • Graduated from CSM

  • Wanted to have more engagement with communities, culture and society.

  • Obake - creating performances and events.

  • Printing press (Riso) enabled collaboration.

  • Processes and approaches are consistent throughout projects.

  • Circulation way of creating.

Does your process come from the start of Hato Press, of a community and having a personal connection? Is that something that influences prototyping?


  • Definitely, our values are founded around craft, community and education.

"The designer's role is to add value to the client in terms of their expertise of understanding the craft, the visual language and that vocabulary."

Ken Kirton

At what point in the evolution of the studio did it come into vision that you'd be looking to open in Hong Kong, or even anywhere, a secondary post?


  • Always wanted to open elsewhere.

  • Natural decision.

  • A new gallery opening in Hong Kong was looking for bilingual designers from London.

  • In Hong Kong, as an area of development, they're investing in the arts and cultural engagement.

Is the work produced in the Hong Kong studio largely still situated in the cultural sector?


  • It's a reflection of what we do in London.

  • Slightly different structure in Hong Kong.

  • Culture in Hong Kong may be more Instagram led than culturally led.

  • Aim to add cultural value.

How would you say that the Hong Kong client base is different in terms of the way they do business or the kind of business they want to do?


  • The clients are international curators that may have been educated or worked in London, Paris or New York etc.

  • Different audiences.

  • How do we put on a show/exhibition for a different audience using the same process but a different expectation?

  • Spaces such as the Tate, V&A are a new mindset to the Hong Kong audience.

"Learning goes both ways, that you learn something from the process, the client learns something from the process and maybe, ideally, the audience does."

Alec Dudson

How do the studios communicate? How regularly? How involved are the two businesses? or are they both independent?


  • WhatsApp is a big communication tool.

  • Still something we're working through.

  • Process and practice are defined by the people involved.

  • Different time zones allow a 24 hour working studio.

I know you've been travelling a lot recently, is that always a big part of what you do with Hato? Is it something that's gradually building up and becoming more important?


  • Maybe we need to have a bit more of an international voice to what we're doing, to create as many possible opportunities as we can.

  • Design conferences attract people that are socially driven or learning through play.

Can you talk a little bit about the Hato student society?


  • To support communities in education.

  • Free portfolio reviews.

  • Free printing workshops.

  • 50% discount on printing bills.

  • Portfolio reviews online.

Lecture Two: The future of Graphic Design Globally

How will globalisation and advances in technology affect graphic design education?


  • Globalisation means that many people who wouldn't normally be able to see or come into contact with a certain idea or person, are now able to.

  • I deas outside of the creative sphere can positively influence creative thinking.

  • People now take on multiple roles.

  • Technology allows for ideas to be made a lot quicker and enable clients to visualise your ideas.


  • Technology allows you to be more connected.

  • Social media connects.

  • Essential for small businesses.


  • You can now practice graphic design remotely.


  • Allows access to a lot of information.

What do you think are the creative opportunities for students studying a global course online, such as MA Graphic Design at Falmouth?


  • Can cause a supermassive collaboration.


  • Open-minded.

  • More diverse.


  • Meet different people from different walks of life.


  • Finding people with similar interests.


  • At the forefront of where we are as a culture, as a society.


  • Working with people that have similar interests.

  • Global conversation.

  • Relationships between visual cultures.

Mucho: A conversation with Rob Duncan and Brett Wickens

  • International design agency

  • Friends that met at Pentagram Design in London

  • Working in different locations

  • Actively looking to work with new people

"I think humour is underestimated a lot in working relationships"

Brett Wickens

  • Ideas and solving problems

  • Brett enjoys projects which are helping someone who is trying to change somethings, such as perceptions and industry

  • Worked with Adobe, Kenmoore, San Francisco Ballet

  • Ability lab

"Good design is as much about what you leave out as it is what you put in"

Brett Wickens

Workshop Challenge


1. Skill Swap: A space online, that could also work in a physical setting, where people could swap skills that could potentially lead to collaborations. Some rules that would go along with this:

  • You only have one hour to "swap"/teach your skill, so your delivery must be efficient and effective.

  • You have a limited number of people that you can swap skills with so really think about your choices. Why do you need this skill?

2. Rockpool: would be an online platform whereby each month an ecosystem becomes a topic for collaboration. For example, 'Bees' could be a topic for the month and photographers, artists, musicians, scientists architects can share their work related to this topic. It would be fairly broad, for instance, if you created a new shade of yellow or black, that would still relate to the topic. There would be a bank of work and a collaboration hub. If a scientist submits data, a designer could make it more visual. This way of collaborating would be a reflection of how ecosystems collaborate in their own way and the work from each month would be saved and potentially used in an exhibition.


It was fascinating hearing from Ken Kirton this week; I'm especially intrigued by riso printing. I struggled to come up with many ideas this week; it seems like everything I can think of is already taken. However, the idea I presented for my pitch Is one I'm delighted with and am looking forward to taking forward.


flex.falmouth.ac.uk. (n.d.). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: https://flex.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/897/pages/week-7-lecture-1-collaboration-around-the-globe?module_item_id=50686 [Accessed 17 Jul. 2021].

Mucho (2018). Mucho: A conversation with Rob Duncan and Brett Wickens. [online] Vimeo. Available at: https://vimeo.com/290372065 [Accessed 13 Jul. 2021].

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