Designing the stress free studio

Some say a ‘stress free studio’ is an oxymoron.

From our first weeks in a design course we are told we have to be creative; and meet deadline.

This continues into our working life as one of the elements that causes mental health issues.

There has been much written, spoken and researched on this topic lately.

Jim Antonopoulos of Tank fame has put a lot of time, thought and effort into the issue. With Karina Day leading, Tank asked a series of questions exploring mental health issues in our industry. The result is an insightful look into our industry. You can download the results here: The 2018 Mental Health & Creativity Industry Snapshot.

Likewise, Andy Wright has taken the initiative and established Never Not Creative, a community of creatives who want to make our industry a better place. Never Not Creative’s Creative’s pledge is a great initiative that aims to set standards, both for those already in the industry as well as students starting to embark on a career.

One agency’s solution

One of the agencies I have long admired is Truly Deeply founded by Dave Ansett.

In 2002 Dave and his team established Art with Heart as a way to combine their creative talents as brand designers with a belief that they should each play a part in making the world better.

The team moves away from their computers to paint, draw or illustrate a piece of art. For one night a year they turn their agency into an art gallery where visitors can bid on the work. Since Art with Heart began, Truly Deeply has raised nearly $360,000 for local charities. Each year, more than 150 guests from the design community enjoy a night of education, impact and art with a clear aim to fund and support those who are selflessly doing wonderful things in the community.

This is a win:win. Designers get the chance to develop unfettered creative work and then see it benefit the less advantaged.

So how can we all get involved?

Whether a studio owner or paid employee, we all potentially face the problem of mental health. And we all have a responsibility to those around us to recognise a problem and act upon it.

What do you do when you see a colleague stressed by work?

How should a studio owner deal with mental health issues?

Should studios have a circuit breaker for busy periods?

These are all good questions.

We’re hoping to find some answers at our Designing your mental health UNseminar.

Monday 26th November 2018
Golden Gate Hotel
The Coventry Room
238 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne VIC
6pm for a 6.30 start.

More here


Got a question? Want to share your point of view? Please feel free to email me.

Want more information like this?
Subscribe to get weekly Design Business Review articles, Australia’s only online design management magazine. It’s professional development information written specifically for Australian designers by Australian designers.

Greg Branson

Contact Greg Branson if you would like to learn more about the many programs the DBC offers.

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path. Contact Greg.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.