Where are all the bright young things? Answers on a tweet please

Yesterday, Herman Miller was proud to host more than 30 students from the Kingston University Product Design course ( http://www.thedesignschool.co.uk/ ). It’s an annual event where we share with them some of our design heritage and history, as well as give them some insights into our research programmes.

It’s great to have a youthful and enthusiastic audience. One that has not been tarnished by the cynicism prevalent amongst those of us with more working years behind us than we care to remember. I enjoy seeing the looks of wonderment as they walk into to our National Design Centre in Aldwych, and the fun they have interacting with our products.

The whole session then got me thinking about the apparent dichotomy of the situation. They were enjoying a lecture about workplace products and design from the archetypal presenter we see at all workplace conferences – a white middle aged male. Whilst experience adds value, and is all part of the rich tapestry of views available, where are all the bright young things? When am I going to see someone under 30 presenting at a workplace conference? Someone that will bring a different perspective to the debates I see happening daily amongst workplace specialists on twitter. I want to hear from people with different perspectives than mine, and I want to be challenged to think differently and I don’t always have to agree with everything I hear.

So do I put together an ‘event’ (I don’t want to limit it by calling it a conference) which features people at least under 30, from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds sharing their thoughts about work and what it means to them? I’ve discussed this with others and think this may be worth doing. Let me know your thoughts by good old fashioned email at mark.catchlove@hermanmiller.com  or you can send me a  

UPDATE – The event discussed above is now happening on Wednesday 17th October – check out this blog to find out more  https://markcatchlove.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/working-to-live-or-living-to-work/


About Mark Catchlove

All views are my own
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4 Responses to Where are all the bright young things? Answers on a tweet please

  1. Hi Mark,

    Great article.

    I totally agree with this and am happy to commit some time to helping you make it happen.

    I’ve recently been involved with some really inspirational people including young and not so young Entrepreneurs. There is a whole new way of working and thinking going on under the radar of the big Corporate office world, and I think these people should be heard.

    Keep with it and do keep me updated.

    All the best for now.


  2. Brian Szpakowski says:

    Mark: I completely agree with you. I usually learn more from the people with less experience, if that makes sense. I used to teach first year architecture design studio and was amazed every single day by the unfettered creativity the 18-20 year old students demonstrated. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an ‘age’ thing though, as you say it can also just be someone from a different disciple or speciality. At the moment I am working with some hospitality designers in my office on a workplace project and they frequently come at things from a completely different angle.
    A lot of the Part 1 and Part 2 architects and graduate designers have not yet pigeon-holed themselves into a speciality so would tend not to show up in the discourse around a particular subject e.g. office design. this is one of the good things about the ‘Workplace Trends’ conference in that it is a bit more open to non-workplace speakers…cartoonists, musicians, poets etc. Let me know if you need any support with your idea.

  3. Pingback: @Where are all the bright young things?’ – a date for your diary | markcatchlove

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