Featured Studio

Stupendous Studio

November 2019

We caught up with the team at Stupendous Studio, a group of multi-disciplinary creatives from different backgrounds. They chat to us about the international influence of London on their design work and their client base, how technology keeps them connected, and how teaching students connects them with the future of design.

How does the local culture of where you live affect your design work and getting clients?

Our Studio is currently based in London, and this has a massive influence on our work. It is a city with many facets, cultures and characters. We feel that it is more global than local, a bit like a mini version of the world where all sorts of individuals and cultures converge.

London is at the forefront of design, and we are surrounded by the latest trends and creative experimentation from people with different cultural backgrounds. This array of thinking and perspectives allows us to be more aware of varying needs from other parts of the world. In fact, Stupendous Studio is formed by different nationalities that came together in London.

In this global world, the possibilities of collaborating with clients have broadened significantly — many of our projects are based outside of London. The internet has allowed us to work remotely with clients that share our studio views from all over the world. New technologies mean we can have meetings, pitch ideas and work on other parts of the design process remotely. But nurturing the connections we make by living in London is very important for that. Being constantly surrounded by other professional creatives, we meet a lot of people that end up introducing us to new clients, whether in London or on a more international scale.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

To take risks and not be afraid of failure. In our studio, we believe that all ideas are valid, and it is important to give them an opportunity to be explored. It is often from unexpected ideas that we find the most rewarding results.

Who's on the team, what are their roles, and why do you love them?

In a nutshell, Omar and Fran met in Barcelona while studying an MA in Graphic design. Years later, Fran moved to London to work at Samsung Design Europe where he met Diego. Omar joined a year later, and that was the start of our friendship. Eventually, each of us followed different paths working for various studios. It was a matter of time until we decided to create something together, after eight years of sharing similar interests, passions and objectives. Finally, Maria joined the Studio after graduating from the university where Omar and Fran lecture nowadays. And this is Stupendous.

We do not have specific roles. We are a team of multi-disciplinary creatives with different interests and skills that complement each other. This is the beauty, there is no such a thing as a hierarchy. Everyone has the same right to share their thoughts and ideas and to contribute to the overall studio culture.

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Teaching helps us to connect with future practitioners of design.

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Are you involved in any mentoring/teaching/workshops, and if so, how does it shape your practice?

Omar and Fran, work as lecturers at the University of Greenwich in the Design School. They teach across all levels, from the first year to third year, and cover disciplines such as Design Principles, Experience Design, Interdisciplinary Design, Design Challenges and Professional Practice.

Teaching helps us to connect with future practitioners of design. We believe it is crucial to understand how students think and where their ideas come from. Knowing what the younger generation is up to also helps us to minimise the gap between education and professional practice. Teaching also shapes us as practitioners. We tend to forget all of the tips and advice that we give students and often need to remind ourselves to follow these too. It's hugely rewarding to see students progress and we feel strongly about maintaining this aspect of our practice as designers.

As a Studio, we also occasionally organise creative workshops with a hands-on approach, encouraging new ways of thinking and creative problem solving.

What advice would you give students graduating in 2020?

The advice we can give is that people will most likely hire you based on the way you think rather than the skills you have. Obviously, skills matter, but what will make your work unique is the way you think and how you use those skills. It is essential to continuously question your work. From our experience lecturing, we can see when a student goes beyond what they are asked for by showing genuine energy, passion and research throughout the design process. This ties in with the idea of being critical with the work you are producing, and looking at it from different perspectives. It is a quality employers find really valuable in a work environment.

Train yourself culturally and be aware of what has happened and is happening in the design world. It will only contribute to your creative process and help you to communicate stronger messages.

2020 for you in a sentence.

We see 2020 as an empty canvas on which we can create and experiment with new concepts and ideas, challenging ourselves along the way.

Website: stupendous.studio

Instagram: @stupendous.studio

Twitter: @stupendousldn

Facebook: Stupendous Studio

Linkedin: Stupendous Studio

Behance: behance.net/stupendousstudio

Dribble: dribbble.com/stupendousstudio

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