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Werkhouse opens applications for early-career creatives

The Bristol-based weekend studio experience is seeking creatives over 18 years old looking to pursue a career in design

By Creative Salon

Werkhouse is a weekend studio experience aimed at early-career creatives – designed as a deep dive into the creative and interpersonal skills required to succeed in a design studio. It actively welcomes applications from anyone over 18 years old looking to pursue a career in the design industry, regardless of whether they are self-taught or have any formal design training.

Werkhouse was launched in 2017 by a small group of design professionals from Bristol and Bath looking to help young creatives succeed in the design industry. A weekend workshop of studio-led design training, Werkhouse focuses on fast-paced, real-time client briefs and team-oriented tasks to show participants a real studio environment.

Seeking ‘under-represented’ creatives in the industry, the weekend is open to a diverse group of applicants from different backgrounds, design disciplines and locations across the UK and beyond. Open to all young people (students, recent graduates or self-taught), Werkhouse will accept 30 participants who would benefit from industry experience and show them how to rapidly develop ideas and then communicate concepts to clients.

Bob Mytton, Co-founder of Werkhouse and Creative Director at Mytton Williams, said: “Having employed many graduates and young designers over the past 25 years, from many different backgrounds, I often felt, like many agency owners I spoke to, that the young designers could be more prepared for starting work. We wanted to give them an insight into working in a creative agency – how to debate and think through a design brief, how to work as part of a team and how to generate and share ideas. And as a bunch of volunteers, we do our best to be inclusive and support diversity, to try and help those who maybe don't have the connections to get a work placement.”

With a brief from a charitable organisation, the selected applicants are invited to work in teams with creative directors, senior designers, account managers, copywriters and strategists from creative agencies across the South West of England. As a result, the young creatives get a unique deep-dive into the fast-pace of ‘real life’ studio working and access to industry professionals as a helping-hand toward their careers.

This year’s participating agencies:

  • Taxi Studio, an independent design business, Bristol

  • Sunhouse Creative, brand and packaging design agency, Bath

  • Diva Agency, a gaming native integrated agency, Bristol

  • Enviral, ethical brand marketing agency, Bristol

  • Osborne Pike, creative branding agency, Bath

  • Home, employee experience agency, Bristol

  • Halo Studio, an independent creative agency, Bristol

  • Walker Jansseune, brand communications agency, Bath

  • Mr B & Friends, brand strategy and design agency, Bristol

Lynne Elvins, Co-founder of Werkhouse and Design Strategist at Design Rally, added: “One of the main reasons we co-founded Werkhouse was because we saw that graduates left university unprepared for the reality of working in a design studio. I wanted to give something back to the design community, show aspiring creatives the strategic side of projects, and help better prepare our future designers. I’m hoping that other regions across the UK - particularly other creative hubs like Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, and Hull - will get inspired so Werkhouse can become the blueprint for similar initiatives.”

Stu Tallis, Creative Director at Taxi Studio, commented: “We are proud to have co-organised and hosted Werkhouse since its inception. It’s a great opportunity for up-and-coming designers from all walks of life to gain experience of what it’s like working within a real agency environment, for real clients and collaborating with like-minded people. Through Werkhouse, we’re providing valuable insight into how we work and introducing people to roles they might not even know exist - from creative roles to project managers, PR experts and strategists. But we, as professionals, also reap the benefits - senior designers can take on the role of managing a team and learn more about the next generation of designers.”

Applications are now open until 14 October 2022. Werkhouse will take place on 19 & 20 November 2022, and it will be hosted at design agency Taxi Studio in Bristol.

Previous participant, Laura Medlicott, Werkhouse Cohort 2019 & Middleweight Designer at Sunhouse Creative said about the experience: “At the end of my degree, I felt underprepared for starting a career in design and was looking for insight into the industry. Werkhouse was a great opportunity to get first-hand experience in how agencies think and work. It was a fun, rewarding way of meeting with other fellow graduates as well as professionals, and led to me being introduced to the wonderful people at Sunhouse and my current job as a graphic designer.”


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