After hours

What do breakdancing and modelling have to do with design? Before you come up with a long-winded philosophical answer, let me put you out of your misery. Both are activities organised by two design studios to generate some good old extra-curricula bonding.

Last month we blogged about the Because series of  talks which are put of by Wolff Olins for its staff, clients and friends. The consultancy invites inspiring individuals – last month was French interaction designer Etienne Mineur – to present their work to staff to inspire them and expose them to cutting edge and unusual work, and also asks one member to get their creative juices flowing to design a poster for each event.

Work by Etienne Mineur
Work by Etienne Mineur

We were amused to read of Guardian journalist Patrick Kingsley’s adventures at The Partner’s office in last Thursday’s edition. Every Friday night, the branding consultancy’s reception is transformed into a ‘pub’ which they call the Crossed Cow and the whole team gather together for a drink.

The Partners and a line-dancing challenge
The Partners and a line-dancing challenge

Not that remarkable you may think. But every week, a staff member is chosen at random and assigned a new skill, also at random, which they must practice throughout the week. These have ranged from learning sign language, plate-spinning, line-dancing – or in the case of Kinglsey – breakdancing. On Friday night it’s show time for the chosen skill-learner, who is asked to demonstrate in front the rest of the consultancy. You can have a look at some of the skills over on The Partner’s Facebook page, here.

Another, more controversial out-of-hours activity has been the attempt by Rehab Studio creative director Tim Rodgers to win fashion retailer Next’s modelling competition. The creative director’s eccentric dress sense and unlikely Leia bun and beard combo has won him fans, bolstered by the studio’s efforts to pull together to promote Tim and make his dreams of being a male model come true.

Rehab Studio's Tim Rogers
Rehab Studio’s Tim Rogers

Through a lot of social media wizardry and promotional know-how, the Rehab team managed to pull Tim up from number 1700 to number 14 in a matter of days, before sadly, Next disqualified him from the competition for offering to give the prize vouchers to charity if he won.

Rodgers says, ‘They’re quoting a voting technicality which isn’t stacking up too well to anybody who’s read the emails. So we’re left thinking, rightly or wrongly that other reasons came in to play which is a shame. We were having fun. Maybe we just got too close for comfort.’

Whether it’s talks, learning new skills, or a spot of modelling, let us know what you get up to in the comments box below.

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