Question of the week:

We’re just finishing off our August issue here at CR and couldn’t help noticing that, in two of our major features, lunchtime arrangements are cited as a key factor in maintaining the right kind of studio or agency culture. So what do you do for the mid-day meal?

We’re just finishing off our August issue here at CR and couldn’t help noticing that, in two of our major features, lunchtime arrangements are cited as a key factor in maintaining the right kind of studio or agency culture. So what do you do for the mid-day meal?

Our August issue (out July 19) includes a lengthy profile piece on illustrator Marion Deuchars. In the piece, Deuchars talks about the importance of maintaining a place in a busy studio rather than working as a “lonely artists in a garret”. In particular, she cites the importance of lunchtime: “The thing that’s crucial in our studio,” she says, “is that we have a big communal table and we all eat lunch there, we don’t eat at our desks.
I think it’s something that a lot of people are giving up in favour of munching a sandwich alone but there is a lot of cross-fertilisation that takes place…” The inference being that it is at lunchtime that all this cross-fertilisation, as well as stimulating discussion, comes about.

Lunch time at the Total Design offices, as featured in Unit’s new book on the seminal Dutch design firm. Note all the milk bottles: the last time we saw that many pintas being drunk was after a 1970s FA Cup final

Then, later on in the issue, we have an extract from Unit‘s new book on Dutch studio Total Design in which Ben Bos talks about the culture of the place, some of which they adapted from that of UK studio Fletcher/Forbes/Gill, the precursor to Pentagram. “Another practice copied from Fletcher/Forbes/Gill was taking lunch together every day,” he says. “This was the moment when the management team mingled with all the staff without formality.”

Pentagram preserves this tradition to this day. In advertising too, some agencies place great importance on the communal repast – staff at Mother, for example, are encouraged to sit at long tables together just inside the agency’s main entrance (shown above).

The feeling seems to be that having lunch together is vital in maintaining cohesion and an internal culture. That it saves time on formal meetings. That it helps new staff to integrate. And that it’s so much nicer than everyone munching a take-away sandwich at their desk.

So where do you stand on all this? Big family lunch or sandwich of solitude?

 

 

CR in Print

Thanks for reading the CR Blog but, if you’re not also getting the printed magazine, we think you are missing out. This month’s bumper July issue contains 60 pages of great images in our Illustration Annual plus features on Chris Milk, Friends With You and the Coca-Cola archive.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine and get Monograph.

More from CR

Studio Frith designs Clark monograph

Frith Kerr and Studio Frith have designed an extraordinary book for an extraordinary artist – the avant-garde dancer and choreographer Michael Clark

Falcon Enamelware’s rebrand and packaging

I’m usually hungry by mid morning on a Monday, and a set of photographs showing off British kitchenware brand Falcon’s fresh rebrand – a collaboration between designers Kiwi&Pom and Morse Studio – really isn’t helping things…

Editorial

The Editorial selection from this year’s Illustration Annual contains work from Jane Laurie, Seb Jarnot and Dan Stafford

Degree shows 2011: Brighton Illustration

B is for Brighton. We always look forward to Brighton’s Illustration degree show as the college seems to have a knack for producing talented graduates…

Graphic Designer

Twiddle & Co

Design Team Leader

De La Rue