DesignStudio is lucky enough to call three of the most exciting cities in the world, home. Our exchange programme – Offsetters – gives our everyone in our teams in London, New York and Sydney a paid opportunity to apply for a temporary move to another studio for up to 90 days.
One of our first three Offsetters, Andie is a Senior Strategist and Writer who has been at DS for a year and a half. She said goodbye to the team in New York to join DS London for 4 months.
What made you apply for Offsetters?
Why not? The opportunity to live abroad for a few months felt like a no-brainer. I always wanted to experience being away from home for a bit. Also, if you live in NYC, you know we sometimes need a break – it makes going back there feel all the more special.
Who doesn’t want to spend their winter hiding out in a sweet, cosy pub? Aside from the rain, it was a great time to be in London – holiday festivities, the temperature never drops too low (in comparison to NYC), and English food and Guinness are best in cold weather. Not to mention, you’re only a hop, skip, and jump away from other amazing cities, so the occasional weekend trip can keep things interesting.
What's been your favourite part of the experience?
In my opinion, the best part of any trip is the people you meet along the way. Whether it was my wonderful co-workers or the man who owns my favourite kebab shop just up the road from my flat (his name is Dom and he wants me to help him write a book), I truly loved meeting all the characters that make London so special. Oh, and the late-night chicken shops.
What was it like working in the London Studio?
The strategy team in London is much bigger than the one in NYC. Yulim, Joe, and I make up our little family in NYC, but here, there's a massive group of people to throw ideas around with and get feedback from on projects. While the work and process are similar, it was nice to jump in and have such immediate trust and faith from co-workers who barely knew me. Strategy is one of those amazing disciplines where you get a lot of autonomy since you’re usually the solo person in that role on the project. Also, I have done SO MUCH writing whilst I've been here, and loved it!
What have you learned?
Doc Martens aren't rain boats, but they're a good substitute. Live in East London for a little, sure you can live elsewhere if you want, but I like East. When it's a sunny day run, don't walk, to Hampstead Heath. If you ain't putting beans on your toast, you ain't living. Hashbrowns are usually triangles here. If you meet someone with an irish accent, try not to fall in love with them, they have excellent accents. Oh, and one last thing, make time to really get to know the incredible city of London, all its ins and outs, posh and grunge.
What's the top thing you'll take back to New York?
Take lunch more seriously in the least serious of ways. No more eating at desks. No eating and working. Stop, pause, and enjoy the mid-day break. In London, everyone at the studio gets up at 1pm to go grab their lunch, and then we all sit together in the kitchen, eat, and chit-chat, it’s just really nice. Except when it's the World Cup, then we sit and watch football. That's serious business.