The idea of flexible working has been around for decades. Christel Kammerer, a German management consultant, proposed the idea of ‘flexiwork’ back in 1965 as she identified balancing childcare with work responsibilities as the reason for a lack of women in the workforce.
This concept didn’t seem to gain real or widespread traction until the Covid pandemic. I think we can all agree that this period introduced a monumental shift, both in the way we live and the way we work. Social distancing, face masks, and hand sanitiser all became common practice in a matter of months. But so did remote working and the introduction of more flexible working patterns.
Perpetual Guardian, a privately held company in New Zealand, were the first of their kind to successfully trial a 4-day work week in 2018, before Covid. So, this working example, paired with the introduction of widespread flexible working during the pandemic both had a huge role to play in the shift to 4-day weeks becoming more common.
We are really happy to announce that at Proctors, we are trialling the 4-day workweek for 3 months, having commenced on the 3rd of July. We understand the importance of listening to our team and supporting them wherever we can, and this represents an exciting milestone in our ongoing journey.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is incredibly important to us, and we understand that even though we are on our journey to be the best that we can be for our people, our planet, and our community, we still have more steps to take to get there. Implementing the 4-day workweek is one of the crucial steps we are taking towards fulfilling our commitment to these values.
If you’ve visited our CSR page, you’ll know that our mission statement is all about putting actions behind our words. We don’t just talk the talk; we always try to walk the walk. And as an agency, we’re driven by purpose, whether that means doing something as small as recycling our rubbish or as grand as hosting an annual student awards ceremony. If it can be done, we’ll strive to do it. This is why we’re implementing a 4-day workweek, because we want to further our positive changes and improve the business structure for our team.
So, what are we doing already, you may ask? Well, here’s a sample…
The office building itself was salvaged by us, reclaimed from an old printworks. We also added 90 solar panels to the roof, which to date have generated 159,758 kWh of energy.
We’re also the only building in the UK coated in CristalACTiV, a coating that reduces atmospheric pollution in the surrounding area.
We have 6 electric car charging points, automatic energy-saving light bulbs, increased insulation, a living wall, compost and recycling, a cycle to work scheme, and that’s just some of the environmental initiatives we undertake.
We also have a number of community-focused CSR initiatives, from the South West Design + Digital Student Awards to working with charities to donate our resources and help them raise awareness and money.
Which brings us back to our people-focused CSR: from providing an inclusive workspace and hosting the PrOscars, to offering mental health first aid to our employees and internships for creatives taking their first steps into the creative industry.
These are just a few examples, but now we are proud to add the 4-day workweek to the list of ways we are trying to improve our CSR journey.
But we haven’t just decided to implement this change for fun. We extensively researched the benefits and implications of this initiative to ensure this was going to be a success.
So, without further ado, here are some of the benefits of a 4-day workweek:
Improved work-life balance
You know that hobby you’re always putting off because you just don’t have the time? Or that volunteering scheme you were always interested in joining? Or even that extra time you’ve been meaning to carve out to spend with your loved ones?
With an extra day off work, this gives our employees the chance to make the most of their time, however they may wish to spend it.
More than 95% of the companies in the 4-day workweek trial saw no decline, or even noticed an improvement in productivity, and nearly 15% said that this had improved “significantly”. This is due to the fact that happier, and more content employees are more focused on their jobs than those who are dissatisfied or unfulfilled.
With unhappy employees often being more distracted and, in some cases, distracting others, it makes sense that introducing a 4-day week would cut down on this and boost focus. In addition, employees are likely to have more energy with an additional day away from work, which adds to the improved productivity.
Reduced work stress
Going hand in hand with the above point, the overall mental health of our team members is incredibly important to us. Implementing a 4-day workweek may stand to improve this, with a reduced stress level regarding work due to the additional time off per week. We believe that being able to approach work with a clearer and more refreshed perspective is highly likely to show benefits in this area.
Around 45% of workers in England and Wales drive to work. Cutting out even one day of commuting for people by introducing a 4-day workweek will build up to have a huge impact on commute-related carbon emissions. With fewer cars on the road, congestion will decrease, and there’ll be a reduced environmental impact. In addition, even though our office is remaining open 5 days a week, as fewer people will be in on certain days, the office-based emissions will also decrease.
But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s hear some Proctorians’ thoughts on the 4-day workweek.
Chris Harris, our People Partner
Why was the decision made to go ahead with the 4-day week in the first place?
The idea came from a discussion following a review of the feedback we received from our employee engagement survey. We were looking at what we could do that would have the biggest impact on our people.
At the time it was mentioned, I thought we would just do some research and then move on to the next idea. Following the research and looking at different ways we could make this work, the idea started to grow, and the Directors made the decision that a trial would be the next best step.
The key factors that we considered related to the impact we saw in other companies that have taken this approach and how it improved people’s wellbeing and productivity.
What are your thoughts on the new initiative?
I am excited to see what impact it has on how we approach our work. My thoughts are currently focused on making sure we allow people to think through any obstacles they may come across during this trial. Change is tough, and being available to help our people and teams navigate these obstacles will build our capabilities as a group and as individuals.
What do you hope to see from doing this?
I hope to see a group that realises its potential and starts to challenge our previous ways of thinking. Taking us forward and being contributors to how we operate as a group and business.
What do you plan to do on your extra day off work?
I am really looking forward to getting those boring chores done that mean I can have a full weekend with the family and not have to worry about it!
Ailsa Billington, Managing Director
Could you tell us more about the decision behind implementing the 4-day work week?
After conducting one of our regular company engagement surveys, it was clear to see that a good work-life balance was one of the key things members of the P+S team were looking for.
One of our core values is taking care of each other, so prioritising the well-being of our employees and making sure they are heard and supported is really important to us. The responses from the survey were the original catalyst into looking into and ultimately implementing the 4-day work week trial.
We also carried out a lot of research into how this approach has worked for other businesses, and the positive outcomes that resulted. We also gave people the option on a few different working patters to vote on, and the 4-day week was definitely the most popular outcome!
What would you like to see from this change?
We have an incredibly dedicated, talented, and hard-working team, and I believe that by embracing this change and continuing to nurture a positive work culture, it will provide rejuvenation and promote creativity and innovation across the business. I’m already hearing plans that people are making for their extra day off and I can’t wait to see what everyone gets up to!
Emily Hawkins, Junior Digital Designer
What are your thoughts regarding the 4 day week?
I’m so excited that we are trialling a 4-day working week! I think this new approach is very refreshing and progressive and shows how the company is adapting to prioritise a better work-life balance for employees. I think that having an extra day off each week will allow me to properly recharge and come back to work feeling more focused and motivated which will increase my productivity and creativity.
What do you plan to do with your extra day off work?
I’m hoping that I can use this time to focus on myself and pick up a hobby, perhaps a fitness class or something creative. I’m planning on trying out something different each week to see what I enjoy! I’d also love to learn a new skill, like photography or a foreign language, or to volunteer for a local organisation.
Spending more time outdoors is also really important to me and I’d love to use some of the extended weekends to explore more of the UK or even take some spontaneous short breaks abroad! I’m particularly looking forward to being able to travel back home and spend more quality time with my family and my dog.
I can’t wait to experience the positive impact that this change will have on everyone’s well-being and on the agency as a whole.
We’re incredibly excited about this announcement as it signifies real change and innovation within the company. Listening to our employees is so important to us, and making sure their suggestions are valued is something we take seriously.
As previously mentioned, this 4-day working week trial will initially run for 3 months so we can see how well it is received by the team and how effective it is at improving our work lives. During this period, we will review the changes and effects, and discuss the option of continuing with it in the long-term.
If you would like to find out more about our corporate social responsibility initiatives, check out our CSR page here.
There’s no escaping artificial intelligence (AI) right now. Whether it’s facial recognition, your smart speaker or the latest Instagram filter, everyone is using AI – even without realising it. It’s in your social media feed, powering your digital payments, and even helping your phone or laptop to autocorrect.
Whilst some of it may seem like the stuff of science fiction, this is just the beginning. AI is no longer a technology of the future, so what can we expect, what does it all mean and should we be excited or concerned about its potential?
In this paper, we’ll take a look at the impact of AI on the entertainment industry, including what we’ve seen so far. We’ll then explore the potential, the implications, and how businesses and professionals can respond to industry change.
We’ll also discuss the importance of brand identity and how a solid foundation of brand strategy can help you to stay authentic, create cut-through and capitalise on the trend to avoid being left behind.
In a recent global artificial intelligence study, PwC estimated that the total economic impact of artificial intelligence will be $15.7 trillion in the period to 2030, making it “the biggest commercial opportunity in today’s fast changing economy”. And when we consider how many areas of our lives it’s already permeated, you can see why.
AI is essential in many of our day-to-day tasks, enabling automation, personalisation and even fraud detection. Most people are familiar with Virtual Assistants or Chatbots online, and are using apps to monitor traffic or weather conditions almost daily.
But AI and its machine learning (ML) subset are nothing new. The concept has been around since the early twentieth century, with science fiction depicting artificially-intelligent robots and dystopian futures, from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 1927 to franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek and The Matrix.
By the 1950s, the idea of artificial intelligence was cemented in the minds of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers the world over and, thanks to the development of computers and machine learning algorithms, AI flourished in the 60s and 70s. This continued into the 21st century, with more funding and computer storage bringing us to the age of “big data”.
The human capacity to collect data is now far outperformed by artificial intelligence, which can process huge amounts. Applying AI in this way has been successful in a number of industries including banking, marketing and social media, and of course, entertainment.
2022 was the year when AI became truly accessible, with the democratisation of Generative AI tools enabling the general public to use these algorithms to create pretty much anything, from the pope in a puffer jacket to Donald Trump’s arrest.
The big hitters in the space right now include OpenAI’s Generative AI model, ChatGPT, and image generators such as Midjourney. These algorithms take existing data and use them to create entirely new content.
Other examples include ‘deepfake’ technology, which uses AI to make it appear as though someone did or said something that they actually didn’t, by replacing the likeness of one person for another in audio or video.
Whilst there are legitimate concerns about the current trajectory of AI, it’s not showing any signs of slowing down, with the potential to improve efficiency, reduce the risk of human error and drive profitability.
Since artificial intelligence first graced our screens, television and film have continued to portray the future, with each reimagining of AI more elaborate and fantastical than the next. But now, the things we once imagined are becoming our reality.
In 2023, AI is having a huge impact on everything from imagery and video to set design and theatre robotics. It’s being used in sport to support officiating and by streaming platforms to recommend shows, films or music. It’s even written a play which premiered online in February 2021.
So, what does AI in the entertainment industry look like right now?
Like many other sectors, AI has been making its mark in the entertainment space for a while, be it film, television, music, theatre or sport. The technology has already been applied in ways similar to other industries – such as content personalisation on streaming services like Netflix or Spotify – and it’s evolving all the time.
Both platforms use AI and machine learning to provide recommendations based on users’ preferences. Netflix even goes so far as to personalise thumbnails to entice users, by ranking hundreds of frames from movies and shows to decide which are most likely to encourage a click.
Spotify also took personalisation to a whole new level earlier this year, with the launch of its AI DJ feature. DJ is “a personalised AI guide that knows you and your music taste so well that it can choose what to play for you”, delivering a curated lineup alongside a hyper-realistic commentary.
Let’s take a look at how artificial intelligence is being used in other areas of the industry.
We’ve already touched on film and TV’s long relationship with artificial intelligence, so what’s changed in the last near century? The short answer: a lot. In addition to personalised viewing recommendations and AI-powered distribution from streaming services, the technology is also being used in a myriad of other ways.
AI-powered platforms and machine learning algorithms are being trained and applied to casting, improving the accuracy and efficiency of decision making. They can also be used to enhance visual effects and even analyse
data of existing scripts to generate new, original stories.
It’s not uncommon for shows and films to be using machine learning or AI in some way or another, but its application in VFX is probably the most recognisable. Recent examples include Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian where actor Mark Hamill was de-aged to depict a younger version of his original Star Wars character, Luke Skywalker.
Another interesting development comes from Texas-based company StoryFit, who are leveraging AI technology to compile data on storytelling elements in scripts. The platform helps writers and studios understand and better connect with their audiences, providing insights on character relatability, plot inconsistencies or even which books should be adapted for film.
Perhaps one of the most incredible applications of AI in film is the use of Neural Radiance Fields or NeRFs. This new powerful and low-budget VFX tool can learn how light is reflected in a scene and produce a 3D model that looks like it was shot on the same set. Using just a few input images, AI can fill in any gaps not covered by the camera and estimate how that section might look, creating light and manipulating images in ways previously unimaginable.
As a traditionally human-centric art, theatre is perhaps an unexpected place to find the presence of artificial intelligence. But it is seeing development of AI technologies, from lighting robotics to set design and even playwriting.
Examples include the use of tools such as Midjourney for theatrical design, to create set designs in collaboration with AI, and plays written entirely by AI such as THEaiTRE: When a Robot Writes a Play or the Young Vic’s production of AI which featured the GPT-3 system on stage.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the world of live theatre into the virtual and digital space, with creators streaming live or pre-recorded performances to audiences at home. It also saw live theatre enter the metaverse, where AI has been integral to development.
Virtual reality and online spaces allow theatre to maintain its live identity, whilst providing new and more interactive ways for audiences to experience the narrative. One example is YouTuber Rustic Mascara’s appropriation of the video game space for live performance back in July 2022.
In an attempt to fill the live-theatre void during the pandemic, actor Sam Crane live streamed the first ever full production of Hamlet inside the online world of Grand Theft Auto. You can learn more about this and the future of theatre in the metaverse in ‘The Future of Theatre’ Conference from The Stage.
Emerging technologies such as AI, big data, and IoT (Internet of Things) are becoming essential components of sport in recent years – and there are already a plethora of applications. One of the most prolific is the introduction of technologies such as VAR (video assistant referee), goal line technology and Hawkeye, designed to help support officiating and decision-making.
Other examples include the use of computer vision for tracking and analysing human motion. Machine learning algorithms can use data to evaluate skills and player potential, ranking them to help with scouting or recruitment.
AI can also be used to predict results or ball possession, and provide game analysis, spotting trends, tactics and flaws.
The music industry has already had its fair share of run-ins with AI, with mixed responses. We’ve highlighted the use of AI in streaming to personalise listening and improve user experience, but what about AI-generated music?
2023 has already seen AI make headlines in the music world, including a music generator that can turn any subject into a Drake-inspired record, or a new Oasis album that imagines how the band might have sounded if they’d stayed together.
But this new era of music making is not without controversy. When French DJ David Guetta used AI technology to add Eminem’s ‘voice’ to one of his songs, it sparked a debate about copyright and creators’ rights. Calls to ensure that artificial intelligence is used to support culture and artistry rather than replace it have been heard across the industry, something we’ll explore in the next section.
It’s clear that the industry is taking note and exploiting AI technology where the opportunity presents itself. But what’s the impact so far, is everyone excited about the potential of AI or are there concerns about its future?
The evolution and increasing popularity of artificial intelligence is controversial across all industries, with many recognising its benefits and potential, whilst simultaneously raising concerns about risk.
In April 2023, Avengers’ Director Joe Russo predicted that AI could be making movies within two years. This, coupled with reports that the first AI-generated feature film will begin production in May 2023 is enough to send filmmakers into a flat spin – our worst fears about robots taking over could be realised in an imminent dystopian reality.
For the film industry, one of the biggest advantages of using AI is its ability to save time and resources. It’s also being used to improve accuracy and efficiency, analysing huge amounts of data – such as actors’ past performances or social media activity – to predict who is likely to be successful in a particular role.
This data analysis can also be used to analyse scripts and create new, original stories, saving time for screenwriters and providing opportunities for creativity and storytelling. AI can also save time and money on VFX, making it easier and faster to add visual effects, using NeRF and other technologies.
Theatre has already reaped some of the benefits of artificial intelligence in its ability to connect with larger audiences onlines. But there are also positives to be drawn from the use of AI in other areas.
Set designers Jason Jamerson and Michael Schweikardt discussed how tools such as Midjourney can be used to improve the design process, arguing that if used in the right way, it might help the process of materialising an idea for production. They explain that they don’t want AI to design the set, but it can give them new, interesting concept overlays whilst allowing them to remain the designers.
In sport, as well as helping to improve the accuracy of officiating – making sports fairer and less subjective – AI can also produce personalised training or nutrition plans for professional athletes. Thanks to the development of wearable technology which provides information about the wear and tear on an athlete’s body, AI can even help improve health and fitness or prevent injury.
Computer analysis is also used to influence line-up decisions before and during games. By comprehending metrics such as motion, speed, serve placement, and even player posture, AI helps managers and coaches make better decisions for their players and teams.
But having already seen how AI can be leveraged to support and improve traditionally-human tasks, what other positives might come from implementing this technology across the industry?
Despite these wide-ranging positive impacts, there are understandably concerns about the risks associated with the increased use of artificial intelligence. The most obvious is of course, the potential for AI to replace human jobs.
As algorithms and AI tools become increasingly advanced, there is a risk that they could replace some roles that humans would have historically carried out. Ultimately, this could lead to job losses in the industry along with a fall in creativity, uniqueness and emotional depth that only humans can provide.
The Guardian reported earlier this year that creatives across the industry are taking action against AI, in a bid to protect their jobs and original work from automation. Photographers and designers are among the first to face a “genuine threat”, and Hollywood filmmakers are worried that advances in the technology will mean fewer jobs across the industry and pose “a real threat to writers down the road”.
Another challenge to AI technology came in the wake of deep-fake technology being used for so-called ‘revenge porn’, with devastating consequences. Understandably, this led to wide-spread criticism and calls for further regulation in future developments.
There are calls for more regulation in other areas too. Apple’s development of synthetic voices for audiobooks has caused controversy and concern among the voice actor community. Some are worried about damage to the livelihoods of lesser-known actors and have pushed for the technology to advance more ethically.
So, will we see homogenisation or a decline in the quality of entertainment or art? Author and screenwriter Marthese Fenech thinks the technology needs regulation and a cautious approach. She explains, “I do very much understand and empathise with the concerns of my fellow creatives and artists. I still harbour some reservations about the technology; none of us wants to be replaced by a machine, something without a soul or the ability to emote.
“Admittedly, I am often reluctant to adopt burgeoning technology – it took me years to transition from an analog camera to a digital one. As an author, screenwriter, editor, and teacher, I’ve met the growing pervasiveness of AI with resistance and hesitation.”
However, having seen some of Mark’s work, Marthese has shifted her perspective: “Mark’s ability to completely transform a project from something passable to something transcendent has altered my perspective. To see something that has lived in my imagination for two decades come to life so vividly defies description.”
There’s no denying the huge potential of artificial intelligence. Now, the entertainment industry has the chance to capitalise on the trend and do incredible things.
It’s time to start viewing AI as an opportunity, rather than a threat. So, how can creatives not only stay competitive but make the most of new technologies?
BIFA founders Raindance, explain that “by highlighting the value of human creativity, filmmakers can differentiate themselves from AI and justify their continued employment”. They also stress the importance of staying “competitive by continuous learning and adapting to new technologies”.
The combination of both AI and human ability has huge potential. By collaborating with AI experts or learning how to use the tools effectively, creatives can learn new skills and stay ahead of the curve. This is something Mark is very interested in, with plans to help businesses and brands use AI to their advantage.
Whilst AI is great at solving problems or processing large amounts of data, there are nuances and concepts that only humans can offer. Some tasks are difficult or even impossible for AI to complete, such as those requiring empathy, social skills or physical dexterity.
So how best to maintain humanity and protect originality? One way is to have a strong foundation – to know who you are and what you stand for. In other words, a brand strategy that really stands up.
As the entertainment industry becomes more saturated and AI tools are used to create content or marketing materials, it’s more important than ever to maintain originality and authenticity that can’t be replicated by machine learning. If you want to create cut-through in a competitive space, having a strong brand personality and a plan for how you’ll deliver your key messages are both vital.
Whatever your role and niche within the industry, every brand or business needs a unique and authentic voice, even if what you’re saying or selling is the same or similar to your competitors. As AI technology continues to develop, creating human connections with messages that really resonate will help give you the edge.
There are ample opportunities to use AI tools to help you learn more about your audience or find new ways to connect with them. But at some point, you’re going to need that human touch to make whatever you create uniquely yours.
When it comes to creativity, there’s always a need to protect what is sacred. But if leveraged in the right way, artificial intelligence could be – and indeed already is – hugely exciting and potentially beneficial for the entertainment industry and business owners that don’t have blockbuster budgets but need to reach their ideal clients.
By having a clear brand identity and a strategy to help you bring your message to your audience, you can remain authentic, stay relevant and make the most of any opportunities AI might throw your way.
I believe in bringing the joy of entertainment to as many people as possible and helping business’s both large and small achieve their dreams. With over 20 years’ experience in the creative space and a finger on the pulse of the latest technologies, I’m here to help.
(Note this article was researched and written by humans!)
What you need to know about Threads, which Meta officially introduced on social media last week: Threads has been hailed as the fastest-growing app ever after surpassing 100 million users at debut; all Threads fans, rise up! All social media managers are working long hours into the night to develop a social media plan for the new app since brands, celebrities, and other talent have already signed on to the site. Probably on your mind is: What precisely is Threads? Does Threads have a connection to Instagram? How does the app operate?
Well, we’re here to tell you all the ins and outs below.
With the use of Meta’s dedicated text-based messaging programme, Threads, we may have more intimate interactions with our close friends and other people. The app opens to a scrollable feed of 500-character-maximum short posts with the option to add single or carousel images and videos. Similar to Instagram, you can utilise the site to offer your perspective and creativity or to follow and interact with your favourite producers.
In order to access Threads, you must have an Instagram account. On Threads, you can either follow people you have already connected with on Instagram or completely new people. However, deleting Threads will also deactivate your Instagram account.
Since Instagram and Threads are both classified as Meta, they will both abide by the same terms of service. As a result, individuals who are older than 13 can use the software. Parental and guardian supervision of children’s use of Threads is advised to safeguard their safety. Additionally, Meta has stated that any Instagram accounts created by users under the age of 13 would have their privacy settings switched to private by default.
Yes, technically. Owner of Threads is Meta, which also owns Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Due to the primary appeal of Threads being text-focused and an opinion-sharing area, it does operate similarly to Twitter.
Cameron Balloons, a renowned leader in the hot air balloon industry, is proud to announce the launch of their groundbreaking app, Sky Sketcher. This innovative web application empowers users to unleash their creativity and design their very own personalised hot air balloons, revolutionising the way enthusiasts engage with the art of ballooning.
With Sky Sketcher, users can embark on a unique and immersive journey, where they have the freedom to customise every aspect of their hot air balloon envelope. From selecting colours, materials, and artwork to exploring different balloon models, the app offers an unparalleled level of customisation and personalisation.
One of our primary goals at Cameron Balloons is to make hot air ballooning an accessible and interactive experience for everyone,” said Will Offer, Senior Designer of Cameron Balloons. “SkySketcher represents a significant leap forward in achieving that vision. We wanted to provide a platform that allows individuals to turn their imagination into reality and design a hot air balloon that truly reflects their personality and style.”
The features of SkySketcher are designed with user-friendly functionality in mind. The app provides an intuitive interface, ensuring that even those new to ballooning can effortlessly navigate and create their dream aircraft. Users can experiment with colours and patterns, incorporate their own artwork, and find the perfect looks effortlessly.
SkySketcher allows users to visualise their creation in 3D. Adding this extra dimension provides users with a sneak peek into what their custom hot air balloon will look like floating high up in the sky.
“We are thrilled to introduce Sky Sketcher as a game-changer in the ballooning community,” added Offer. “It’s an app that encourages creativity, fosters self-expression, and allows users to engage with the world of hot air balloons like never before. We want to inspire a new generation of balloon enthusiasts!”
SkySketcher by Cameron Balloons is now available, bringing the joy of designing custom hot air balloons to the fingertips of users worldwide. To learn more about the app and start designing your dream balloon, visit https://www.cameronballoons.co.uk/skysketcher or follow Cameron Balloons on instagram or Facebook.
Launching today, SOL-ART Visions will see a series of artworks on display at the Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar from 17th – 31st July to showcase the reimagining of Bristol for the renewable energy transition.
The exhibition features conceptual artworks envisioning solar facades, by acclaimed artists AcerOne, Andy Council, Bex Glover, Dave Bain and Elaine Carr. The artworks were developed through a number of creative co-design workshops hosted by Upfest as part of the UWE Bristol project Towards Solar Facades as Participatory Public Art.
The project is a partnership between UWE Bristol, street art specialists Upfest, and the pioneering manufacturer of building integrated photovoltaic solutions BIPVco. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), under the Design Accelerator scheme (Grant Ref: AH/X003574/1). The project lead is Dr Eleonora Nicoletti from UWE Bristol (the University of the West of England).
The exhibition is the result of a series of events to co-create with the Bristol community visual concepts for integrating photovoltaics into facades of existing buildings in the Bedminster area. The artworks reflect thoughts from Bristol residents, architects and other built environment specialists, considering possibilities for integrating solar photovoltaic technology into building facades, which would in turn generate electrical energy from sunlight. Steve Hayles, co-founder of Upfest explains:
“Being able to give the local community the chance to come and see how the neighbourhood they’re living in could potentially be transformed is something we are all excited about. The public has a great opportunity to give feedback to artists to help shape and improve their surroundings.
“We hope the renewable energy concept of the designs is well-received by residents and Bedminster can be used as a launching pad for similar projects throughout the world – there’s no better place to start!”
Eleonora Nicoletti, the project lead, adds:
“If we think of integrating photovoltaic technology more into buildings to decarbonise the power grid, we need to engage the local community early on in reimagining their urban environment. With such a strong presence of street art in Bristol, we are looking forward to seeing which possible directions driven by the local community building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology may take in the city.”
Exhibition visitors from the broader Bristol community will be invited to join the conversation and express their views on the displayed work via an online questionnaire, to help shape the future direction of this progressive project. For further information follow Upfest’s social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Redeemer City to City is an international non-profit organisation with a heart for urban renewal – seeking to recruit, train and resource leaders to start new churches and strengthen existing ones.
Studio Floc were invited to create the identity and event collateral for Redeemer’s ‘Hub Weekend’; a high-profile fundraising weekend based in New York City.
Taking place at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the driving idea behind the event’s campaign was one of connection, with delegates travelling from all over the world to join for the weekend. Studio Floc used the idea of connecting people and creating paths to new places as the core concept. This was rolled out across an extensive design suite of event collateral which was used in the lead up and throughout the weekend.
Never ending connection
At the heart of the event’s design concept was a vast illustration, created in-house to capture the breadth and vitality of life in New York City, the home of Redeemer City to City. Subtle details in the cityscape worked to honour other global partner cities. The mural, formed from continuous line drawings, was then, paired with type and colour, used both in sections and as a whole piece across the event assets.
Colour and typography
Supporting the illustration-heavy campaign was a subtle, yet extensive typographic system that was driven by the elegant serif, Chronicle Text (Hoefler & Co). Alongside the typography, a stripped back colour palette of navy and alabaster were used as the foundation for every design.
At the event
As part of the event, Studio Floc recreated the core illustration and hand drew a 17ft x 9ft mural in the atrium of the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, as a visual centrepiece to the event. Other designed collateral at the event included; table numbers, name cards, place cards, menus, bespoke fabric napkins, tote bags, information booklets and cards, signage, wayfinding, video creation and much more.
The Hub Weekend was a great success in raising money for the continuation of Redeemer’s work in cities worldwide. Studio Floc are already working on the event design for the next Hub Weekend in 2024 and look forward to further collaboration with Redeemer City to City in the future.
“Studio Floc are my go-to designers for event collateral. They are creative, sensitive, timely, very fun to work with, and brilliant at bringing my often-incomplete vision to a finished, effective, beautifully designed product. I’ve already recommended them to others and will continue to do so.”
Redeemer City to City
Having started the process in 2021, they join around 70 other companies in the region who are committed to making business a force for good.
B Corp Certification is holistic, not exclusively focused on a single social or environmental issue. To achieve certification, a company must:
saintnicks achieved a score of 88.9, but as with any company to gain the certification, they acknowledge that this is just the beginning of a commitment to do even more.
“We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to become B Corp Certified, but we’re just getting started. We’re committed to continually reviewing our standards across the board, to not only maintain our efforts, but improve them.” said company Director, Chris Price.
“We’re very proud to be working with some brilliant clients, who are also committed to making positive changes to their business, so it’s a journey we’re going on together.” Price added.
Read more about the journey to becoming B Corp Certified on the saintnicks website.
We are super excited to be bringing MotherBoard events to Bristol!
When: Wednesday 19th July 2023.
What time: 6.30pm – 9pm
Location: Huboo, 41 Corn St, Bristol BS1 1HT
Drinks and pizza provided.
Rav Bumbra, Founder of Cajigo
Rowena Innocent, SVP Engineering at Ultraleap
Chloe Allan, Technology Manager, Just Eat
David Maher Roberts, Managing Partner of Digital DNA & Founder of TechSpark
Join us for the first Bristol MotherBoard community event! This event will be a networking event, with a panel talk starting 7.30pm.
With 50% of women leaving the industry by the time they are 35, we will be asking the important question “how we can retain more women in tech”.
We will offer practical takeaways including how businesses can support their female talent and drive retention, how businesses can offer an inclusive environment for mums and what we as individuals can do to support our peers and be advocates for all women working in tech.
If you have not been to one of our events before, MotherBoard is a community, event series and charter for everyone who believes we need more support for women working in the tech industry. We encourage everybody to join who is interested in understanding more about how to drive inclusion in the workplace.
Please RSVP to confirm your place.
World-renowned, Bristol-based product development consultancy Kinneir Dufort are proud to be running the Ethnic Diversity Excellence Programme (EDE) for a third year running.
To tackle the visible lack of diversity within the UK design industry, Kinneir Dufort’s EDE Programme offers an opportunity for three students from minority ethnic and heritage communities entering their third year of university to take part in a funded 8-week internship.
Supported by an industry-wide EDE Council, with distinguished council members of minoritised ethnic backgrounds from AstraZeneca, LettUs Grow, No7 Company, FluoretiQ, Unilever and Reckitt, the programme offers three students in their final year an immersive opportunity to learn and develop within an industry environment. The successful applicants will also take part in school outreach programmes to help increase awareness of the design sector to help boost diversity in future generations of designers.
Along with 8 weeks of hands-on experience, mentoring and advice, the individuals will receive a £2,000 sponsorship along with £1,000 travel and accommodation expenses. This opportunity is open to all universities in the UK.
The driving force behind the programme, Sunny Panesar, Head of Portfolio Management at KD, is driven by the lack of ethnic diversity in the product development industry, and the need for change. Sunny says: “Having often been the only person of colour in the room throughout my career, the lack of ethnic diversity is striking, if we’re truly going to design a better world, we need to reflect the people we’re designing for.
“I understand how important it is for ethnic minority students to have this opportunity, firstly to make them aware of this incredible industry as a career option and then to help them overcome complex systemic barriers holding them back when trying to break into industry. Our goal is to level-up and give minoritised ethnic students an equal playing field. We want to offer interns a high-quality experience which is immersive and potentially life-changing; they will learn and develop within an exciting and unique environment with external mentoring from industry experts.
“The last two years have been a resounding success for KD, we have taken on full-time employees from the scheme and have a seen a vast improvement in all areas of diversity throughout the team. This year, we’re excited to launch the programme again and encourage students from around the UK to watch our webinar and submit their applications.”
Kinneir Dufort believe that they, and the wider innovation, design and product development industry need to do more to mirror the diversity of who we are designing for within the UK, and beyond.
Learn more about the application criteria, how to apply and the deadline here. If you would still like to learn more and see if this programme is for you, you can watch our recorded live Q&A with our EDE Council.
We’re delighted to share that Unfold have taken on organising the Smart Cookies meetup group, started by the wonderful Nic & Nat Alpi, previously of Cookies HQ.
Smart Cookies is a quarterly meetup group of over 1,000 entrepreneurs, involved in the Bristol creative and digital industries, passionate about design, development and marketing.
We want to continue the events in the same spirit and ethos as our predecessors, promoting collaboration between disciplines so we can devise better solutions for all aspects of the creative process.
Each meetup will feature either individual speakers or an expert panel, where discussion will centre around a set theme related to building and growing digital ventures.
Whether you’re a tech professional, an entrepreneur, freelancer or student, there will be something for you. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, make connections and join a community of smart cookies.
Come along and be inspired or – if you’d like to share your own experiences – why not contact us about becoming a speaker?