Language Dept. was built as a team and a place. In these days of remote work, an established root of collaboration, learning, and conversation has helped our culture live beyond studio walls.
– photos and dialogue from life in the Language Dept. studio, pre-COVID
Working together to solve complex problems relies heavily on asking honest questions and engaging in a near-constant dialogue. Collaborating fluidly in a creative environment is no easy task, but it is a practice we continually hone as one of our most critical strengths.
Our team is built of “ampersand” types… people who have either shifted career focus or who bring a more divergent thinking to design. We believe that the more variation we have in our perspectives and expertise, the more depth we can bring to the challenges our clients face. A curiosity and openness to hearing other’s perspectives and feedback is shared amongst us all. In turn, our clients consistently say they feel heard and understood.
“Every collaborative project is comprised of a lot of dot connecting. It is amazing to see how our different backgrounds and perspectives lend to a wide spectrum of insight that helps us solve big problems, together.”
Time and experience have revealed the importance of trust and honesty within the studio in order for collaboration to work internally, together, and externally with clients. Every voice at our table is valued. In the studio, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
“I value the diversity of people within our studio; professional diversity, but also diversity in age, race, and even geography. Good design and successful collaboration require different perspectives and we have that here.”
“Practicing collaboration allows us to see the capacity of what we can do in a much bigger way. It reminds us we’re all working towards the same end goal.”
“We do share values… lack of ego, and belief in conversation and learning. Our belief in learning, I feel, is something that really binds this group of people.”
For us, strategy and execution are connected systems, like left and right brain thinking, and verbal and non-verbal communication. As a community, the team is a connected system as well. Individual growth and inclusion is essential to studio growth and inclusion; continued education, internal workshops and a culture of curiosity lead to evolving best practices and skills, at every level.
“Each member of the team has different perspectives and different life experiences, we all have come from different places. And because of that, I learn so much from everyone throughout every project.”
“Where we are now as a team feels fluid; everyone trusting each other and working towards the same thing lends to great collaboration”
As we’ve been working from our homes during Covid-19, we’ve found digital tools for remote collaboration, to stand in for our wall, our table, and desk-side discussions. The nature of design is to adapt. This year, in the midst of a pandemic that has changed the world, we’ve discovered that having a group of diverse, divergent thinkers always willing to meet others at the table also leads to resilience.
Language Dept.’s culture, like creativity, lives beyond studio walls.