What is a Design Studio?

20th April 2012
Paul Bailey

So what is a design studio? In this connected, digital age do we need a shared physical space?

How about a virtual design studio?

I was talking to a designer earlier this week about possibly talking at an upcoming event, the topic of which got me thinking what is a design studio?

Now we all know what comes in to our heads when the term ‘design studio’ is mentioned, white walls, white tables, white chairs, illustrations on walls, big monitors, a bookcase with all the same books in… and a dog. This may be a little cynical but check out photos of a lot of design studios and they pretty much blur in to one. But why does this need to be the case? In fact, does a design studio need to be a physical space at all?

In recent years the media environment has changed dramatically with the rise of social media changing the way we relate, work and socialise. We can talk, share, watch, collaborate, present, argue, etc. all in our shared digital spaces. So why can’t a design studio be a digital space too. What is stopping design studios being in a shared digital space and the designers, clients, partners, suppliers all meeting in this space? I love the idea that as a designer I can work from an art gallery one day, a clients office the next, etc, whilst always being in contact with the other designers in the virtual studio. Essentially not being in the same space all day could be fantastic.

I don’t really have any thoughts beyond this but would love to know other peoples thoughts on the virtual design studio, pros and cons. It is something I’ll be looking at further I’m sure.

We can talk, share, watch, collaborate, present, argue, etc. all in our shared digital spaces. So why can’t a design studio be a digital space too.