Articles by Month: August 2017
How can you collaborate with other designers?
Here at Go Media, we hold an annual design conference called Weapons of Mass Creation Festival. Weapons of Mass Creation Fest is a three-day art, design and music conference that features a diverse panel of dynamic speakers, invaluable workshops, and exciting interactive programs. It’s a must-attend event for professional and aspiring artists, designers and entrepreneurs. It’s a unique chance for attendees to derive inspiration through networking, learning and celebrating shared passions.
Two very special things happen at Weapons that allow for our attendees to forge strong relationships:
1. As a small, intimate, DIY event, we are able to build a strong sense of community. Our meetups and mixers are just, if not more important than any talk or workshop, as they get our attendees talking and building friendships that will last a lifetime.
2. Honest, down-to-earth, authentic, truth-tellers represent the WMC Fest family. We ask that anyone who speaks or shares their story comes to the stage with an open heart and is candid about their failures and successes. This makes the air ripe for an environment where we all are welcome to be open and honest.
When people feel safe enough to be themselves, to be vulnerable, open and share ideas, they may blossom in a way they might not in a normal work environment. In certain work environments, we are at times too anxious to share ideas for fear of failure or encouraged to hoard our ideas in hopes that we will get ahead of our coworkers.
Now that we’ve learned to be open and vulnerable, how can we collaborate for maximum results, even if we live miles away from one another?
Here are six ways we suggest connecting and collaborating with other designers now:
- Join our Private Facebook Group, We Are Weapons! This group is a safe place where we can meet up, exchange ideas and concepts and collaborate even though we can’t be at the same place at the same time. This is a safe place, so if you can’t be kind, please do not request an invite.
- Show your new contacts that you care and check in with them regularly. Don’t have a project to collaborate on just yet? Keep checking in with your new contact regularly to let them know you’re thinking about them. Make an effort to comment on their work on Instagram, send them an email check-in, pop a Christmas card in the mail for them. Put a Google event on your calendar if you need a reminder for this. It will pay off in dividends.
- Continue to provide information without asking anything in return. In keeping with the spirit of Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, you’ll need to continue to stay vulnerable, however difficult that may be. In order to get value, you will need to provide value to others. In order to get others to open up, you may need to do so first. Spread this concept and the design community will thrive!
- Be encouraging of any ideas shared. The quickest way to discourage collaboration is to shut down an idea shared by a colleague. Nurture your relationship by being open to hearing any ideas, thoughts or concepts. Give your honest feedback and advice, but always be supportive of their willingness to share and be vulnerable with you.
- Be a connector. Take a step back for a moment and survey the scene. Collaboration is for everyone, so if you see an opportunity to connect one colleague with another colleague, do so. Providing opportunities for others makes collaboration a big win for everyone.
- Meetup and exchange ideas! Weapons of Mass Creation Fest happens every August, so come back, meet up with your friends and see how much you’ve progressed over the year. In the meantime, use Skype and Google Hangouts to connect online and strengthen those relationships further.
- Work on mini-projects together. Need a pick-me-up and bit of inspiration? Encourage collaboration by working on a mini-project with a colleague or friend. For example, you could work simultaneously on a 100-day project or something similar.
Until we meet again, we hope that the relationships you’ve built at a design conference like Weapons of Mass Creation Fest will serve you well and allow you to create some beautiful design together.
At-Home Office Inspiration
If you’re thinking about starting your own business or are in the early stages of developing an existing company, you know that office space is an expense that can overwhelm even small budgets. At Modernize, we know that choosing to work from home may be the only option for startups and small business owners, but there are ways to make it work in even the busiest of homes. Here are some of our top tips to help you create the ultimate contemporary at-home office.
Upgrade your office technology
21st century businesses and technology are so intertwined that it’s hard to think of an entrepreneur who doesn’t have an online presence. That’s why setting your home office up for tech success should be at the top of your priority list . A strong, fast, and reliable WiFi connection and a business phone line are essentials. The latest operating systems and online or remote payment devices will also help your business flourish from the comfort of your home. If you want to increase your productivity and keep on top of your daily tasks, consider downloading a few apps and programs to your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer to help organize your business affairs and make the most of your work day.
Inject some color into your space
Once you know that the lines of communication are open in your at-home office, you can turn your attention to decorating and organizing your workspace. A productive work environment doesn’t have to be boring, so make a statement with a few bright colors in the latest trendy hues. Greenery is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2017, and other bright, tropical colors are hot on its tail. If you prefer a less in-your-face office space, go monochromatic or neutral with your color scheme and use fresh foliage, bouquets, and modern art prints to bring in a splash of color. Finally, don’t forget to use natural light as much as possible to accentuate your new office design and keep your productivity high.
Mix and match design styles
Interior designers used to insist upon one and only one design style for your home, but contemporary design is all about mixing and matching. Many of the trendiest styles for 2017 contain a variety of contrasting design elements that work surprisingly well together—especially in home offices. Scandinavian design, for example, is a clever and affordable mix of modern minimalism and rustic charm and provides an excellent way of injecting a bit of professionalism into the workspaces of your home without making it appear too clinical. If your personal design style is slightly more trendsetting, you can incorporate a more industrial feel that mimics urban office environments, or try adding a few vintage pieces for texture and intrigue.
Get creative with storage
Storage and organization are key parts of any office environment, so incorporating these elements in your at-home office space will help you to focus while keeping your office neat and tidy. If you love order, color coded and uniform boxes, bins, and paper trays will help organize your paperwork and files. If upcycling is more your style, you can repurpose just about any old piece of furniture for extra storage and workspace in your home office. The storage choices you make are up to you, but we recommend finding solutions that will bring out your personal design style while also catering to your business interest.
Give your office a personality
One of the best parts of working from home is having the freedom to decorate your office space any way you see fit. Going overboard with decorative accessories and other design elements is not the goal here, but a few handpicked personal effects in your at-home office will give you a space that you enjoy working in day after day. Select a few unique, comfortable pieces of furniture that bring you joy and productivity, and remember to maximize workspace whenever possible. Add a few decorative accessories such as patterned cushions and rugs and softly lit table lamps to make your office feel like an extension of your home. Finally, complete your office with a few significant photos or heirlooms that will remind you why you go to work every morning.
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Tips for Designing a Creative Space
Negotiating boundaries and finding time for work can be difficult when you’re working from home. This is especially true for creative professionals, whose work often requires silence or a particular kind of environment at all hours of the day and night. At Modernize, we enjoy helping homeowners find ways to make their homes fit for purpose, so designing an at-home space that invigorates your creativity is right up our street. Here are some of our top tips to help you carve out a space that is appropriate and productive for you at home.
Find a secluded spot
While some creative types prefer to work with lots of noise and action, finding a private space in your home is essential for productive work. If you have a spare room, garage, or even summer house, you can shut the door and have peace and quiet—or loud music, if that’s what helps you—while you work. Anyone who works from home knows that designating a particular space for work helps boost productivity and lets the rest of your family know that while you’re in that space, you mean business. If space in your home is at a premium, a quiet corner of the kitchen or living room will do; you can rearrange furniture and add shelving or room dividers to make this area as private as possible.
Keep it bright
Hardly anyone enjoys working in the dark, and bright workspaces are known to increase productivity. Paint your at-home creative space white to reflect as much light as possible, throw open the curtains and blinds, and add a few bright accents to get the creative juices flowing. If you must use artificial lighting, opt for bulbs with cool blue hues to simulate an office environment for improved focus. Add a few green plants to freshen the air, clear your mind, and inject some color into your space.
Organize your space
Although creativity and organization don’t necessarily go hand in hand, a workplace is most productive when everything is in its designated place. Whether you opt for traditional filing systems and plain labeled boxes or get creative with glass jars and upcycled baskets, your creative space will feel much less chaotic once you have organized everything to your own particular specifications. As with any room in your home, a regular decluttering and cleaning session will keep your work area tidier for longer and you will have more time to focus on your work.
Traditional office environments tend to forget that employees like to feel comfortable while working. One of the best things about working from home is that you get to choose your own furniture for your workspace. An upholstered chair, large comfy sofa, and designer furniture is not off the table in your at-home creative space, so you can let your imagination run wild when filling your own area. While the sky—and your budget—is the limit here, we recommend finding pieces that will make you feel both comfortable and motivated to produce quality work.
No workspace is complete without a little personalization. Cubicles and offices may have limits on the amount of personal effects you can use in your space, but the same is not true for an at-home office or creative space. Fill your room with family photos, framed artwork, and anything else that makes you feel excited about coming to work. An inspiration wall is a great source of motivation for many creative people, so designate an area in your at-home space and fill it with your professional goals, past achievements, and your wildest dreams.