Zoom or Room? The Future of Collaboration

In partnership with ReDesign Business, Design Council and Innovate UK, curated by Propela

In the Age of Uncertainty, what can business and design learn from each other?

2020 has seen great waves of change in a shockingly short space of time. Zoom, email, text, Whatsapp, social media, and even over the phone or just IRL – we now have more ways to communicate and collaborate than ever before. But does more mean better? 

Take a step back from the noise and join Helen Arvanitakis, director of Design District in conversation with Lara Kinneir (co-founder of Collaborative Change), James Turner (co-founder of creative collective Glimpse), and Ansel Neckles (co-founder at Let’s Be Brief and associate lecturer at Chelsea College of Arts) to discuss all things creativity and collaboration.

From decades-long trends to sudden technological shifts and recent experiments with remote working, the panel will offer their industry expertise to discuss the challenges and opportunities with creativity in work. This is a perfect opportunity to hear from industry insiders about what worked and what didn’t during these unprecedented times.

Helen Arvanitakis is the Director of the Design District, a new permanent work space for creatives on Greenwich Peninsula. The Design District promises to deliver 150,000 sq ft of purpose designed workspace for the creative industries and will be opening from 2021.

Helen is known in the design industry for her expertise in strategy, process and people. In her current role at the Design District, Helen is spearheading several initiatives aimed at truly supporting London’s creative industries. The first of which being the highly innovative ‘On/Off Office’- a super flexible leasing model.

A 15+ year veteran of the London design sector from a three-generation architect family, Helen has been immersed in the creative industries for her entire life. Her career to date has plunged her into a range of disciplines and given her experience from a digital agency to the BBC and Arts Council England. 

Prior to running her own design-focused strategic consultancy service, Helen spent a decade working with Tom Dixon, ultimately becoming Managing Director of the Design Research Studio, where she led a multidisciplinary team working across product, graphics, retail and exhibition and interior design. This experience has enabled Helen to develop a deep and wide-ranging understanding of the challenges faced by creative businesses, their human and organisational needs, and the reality of their day-to-day operations.

Ansel Neckles is the co-founder at Let's Be Brief and creative director at community engagement agency - twenty%extra. Since opening in 2009 the agency has built up a diverse portfolio of client projects including; Royal Foundation, Soho House Group, British Council, Channel 4, Legal & General and Louis Vuitton. Ansel is also an associate lecturer at Chelsea College of Arts. 

James Turner is the Founder of award-winning creative collective “Glimpse", with over 2000 members worldwide. James is also the creator of 'Choose Love' store concept, raising over £2.5m for UK charity Help Refugees. Prior to this he was Communications Director at Greenpeace International and The Syria Campaign. 

Lara Kinneir is a designer, leader of the Cities programme at the London School of Architecture, and founder of a new startup to collaboratively shape the city. She is also Ministerial advisor for Architecture Policy in Northern Ireland and Co-ordinator for UN Habitat UNI. She worked across public, private, civic and academia sectors in a variety of roles across the UK and abroad.