OFFF 16 – Be a trouble maker

During the last weekend of May we sent a bunch of our designers to Barcelona and OFFF 16, a three-day creative conference filled with workshops, performances and talks perfect for the curious mind.

Going there is like getting an injection of inspiration. You’ll fill yourself to the brim with creativity and your brain will most likely feel slightly mushy at the end of the day. We certainly felt a little bit broken down after the last day so we needed some time to digest everything before putting together this post of our main takeaways from this years edition.

A recurring topic from many of the big agencies and studios was what they do to build and retain a great company culture. The focus wasn’t so much on agility and flexibility but rather on how they use playfulness and experimentation as an important part of the working process. Speakers from studios like Sid Lee, Ustwo and The Mill (plus many more) all talked about setting aside time and money for activities as a way of bringing the team together and allowing employees to work on their own passion projects during work hours.

No matter if you’re a huge studio or a freelance creative it’s important that you’re not just doing client work or checking things of your to do-list. Spend some time exploring new ideas and playing around just for your own curiosity’s sake. Create your own passion projects, or as Alaa Mendili from Sid Lee put it: Don’t just be a problem solver, be a problem maker.

It can be whatever you want. Some of our favourite passion projects presented on the stage was Timothy Goodman & Jessica Walsh’s 12 Kinds to Kindness, Mr Bingo’s Hate Mail book (with this amazing rap video that he produced to raise money for his Kickstart campaing) and Ustwo’s magical platform game Monument Valley which we have loved and adored since the release in 2014.

Go out and do things that you think are fun or important. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you enjoy it and it feeds your soul. It might not bring in any money today but it will make you grow.

Never grow old.