A few weeks ago the class went on an adventure, taking a break from the usual grind we headed downtown Toronto with two exciting destinations to visit.
First, we hit up the ROM (I hadn’t been there in years! It was a lot fun feeling like a kid again going on a school trip) to see the Pompeii exhibit. I’ve always had a fascination with Pompeii, and how an entire culture who lived so much like us was eradicated so quickly and with so little warning. Seeing all the jewelry and house-hold items they had, as well as the casts of the poor souls who lost their lives was really sobering. It made everything I’d learned in the past feel more real and final being up close to the casts, and items that I’ve only ever seen in pictures before.
Additionally, we had the opportunity to meet with Cheryl Fraser,the Manager of the ROM Web department, and spent some time talking to her about what her responsibilities were at the ROM. She spoke about how she typically works in with a smaller team of designers and developers to maintain and keep the ROMs website current, and some challenges she faces working with a government run company. We, unfortunately, didn’t have a great space for any Q&A, but I plan on following up with Cheryl in the near future to learn more about her position and what she does for the ROM.
We had some free time afterwards, so we took some time to wander through the Pompeii exhibit. We split off for lunch shortly whereafter with plans to meet again at Tribal for 2:00pm (sharp!).
At two o’clock on the dot we met in the lobby of this humongous high-rise that houses the Tribal DDB offices. After ensuring that everyone was ready and accounted for we jumped in the elevators and made our way up to the 17th floor where we met up with Ben Playford, one of the Creative Directors in the Toronto office. He took us into a conference room where the creative team, including Janice Law, had set up samples of the work they have produced – from concepts to wires to the complete design. We spent some time talking about what kinds of processes the creative team goes through to produce a completed product.
I found it very interesting hearing about the development process; my own experiences in the field prior to attending Sheridan included many responsibilities being spoken to, which lead to some efficiency problems when trying to complete a project. Learning about how a big agency like Tribal works was very neat – they have a creative team and within that they have UX/UI designers that focus on nailing the wireframe design so that the visual designers have a good foundation to work from. We were told told that depending on what the designers strengths are they will generally stay working with a single client long term as they will understand their branding and needs better the longer they work with them.
After we spoke with the creative team Ben took us through the offices to show us their work space and it gave us a little sneak peak about the atmosphere and culture at Tribal. The offices are mostly open concept with the exception of offices (for the creative directors and higher management). ll of the designers and developers worked in a large rooms beside each other. In reality working this way could be great for collaborating with each other (I would imagine designers that worked together often sat close to each other); hopefully they still get a lot done while having fun!
I noticed the atmosphere seemed really fun and relaxed as we made our way through the office. Everyone seemed to be genuinely enjoying where they were and what they were doing, everything though it was Friday (ha-ha).
In closing, I found the trip to be extremely enjoyable and informative. I appreciate the planning it took to bring us all to Toronto to experience a such a great exhibit at the ROM as well as the special treat we got in going to the Tribal offices. It gave us a break that we all needed and helped open our eyes to what a big agency like Tribal was like. Getting to go into the offices and imagining yourself there was very refreshing, especially considering in just a few months (that will FLY by) we will be jumping into the design world, and maybe some of us will even end up at Tribal.
All the places we will go…