Hyper Island have been working with closely with UsTwo for a while now. They never cease to inspire our students and are always very generous with their time and energy. I was lucky enough to run a Learning Lab with Lawrence Kitson a couple of months ago, he has been a pivotal influence in the creation of the new Digital Experience Design MA and it’s been a pleasure getting to know him. Lawrence is Design and Product lead at UsTwo and here’s what he has to say…
1. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?
Team dynamics and collaboration are so important to the success of the thing you are all working towards. Yes, skills are important, but a culture of honesty and transparency that fosters constructive feedback will help you grow into a solid unit and get through the bad times quickly.
2. What’s your burning question of the moment?
I’m trying to work out how we can help large companies break out of the structures that prevent some of them from innovating and bringing things to market quicker so they can test, learn and iterate. They clearly want to and are willing to try, but the steps to large success (which are inevitably frequent smaller failures) are deemed too risky for them, and inevitably opportunities are curtailed for them.
3. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?
One of our new designers at UsTwo in New York, Kota, visited the London studio recently and was kind enough to give a talk about a Journey starting from a teenage memory, of his obsession with family friends who brewed their own beer. What became a hobby for him in his 20s turned into a magical story after a natural disaster.
I was so inspired because Kota didn’t set out to change the world, but put himself out there he took an idea and made it into a real thing and gave it an amazing backstory. Real enough to capture people’s imagination. Kota had only made 120 bottles of his beer in his apartment yet people wanted to order it from all around the world. His beer became a catalyst for change, more meaningful than a multi-million dollar seed round.
4. What would be your one piece of advice to students on Hyper Island’s new MA in Digital Experience Design?
Make the most of your time together and create your network now – you will be in a unique position by the end of the course, with a set of shared skills, experiences and ideas.
Together you can do something that can make a change to world.