By Katy Cowan
For our latest Tours feature, we caught up with Alexandra Plesner – a creative working in marketing and communications for the London studio of international design firm, Method.
Alexandra is also the founder and Creative Director of the art collective I Scream Factory – a group of photographers, artists and illustrators from all over the world that has set out to explore life through the metaphor of ice cream. We spoke to Alexandra about her creative life and workspace…
Tell us more about yourself
“I was born in Austria to a family of ice cream makers, started my creative career studying Fashion Design, and was headhunted by Swarovski straight after graduation. I made the jump to London in 2010 to study Masters in Applied Imagination at Central Saint Martins. Since then, I have been blessed to work for and with inspiring workplaces and personalities, from fashion start-ups, luxury brands to fashion boutique agencies and design studios such as Karla Otto PR, and the commercial arm of both Dazed & Confused and Tank Magazine.
“I became increasingly curious about the changing role of design in customer experience, and this was when I joined Method in 2014; an international experience design studio with headquarters in San Francisco.”
Can you describe your workspace?
“Method set up a studio right on the top floor of the Tea Building in the heart of Shoreditch. Once occupied by the Lipton Tea factory, Tea Building was originally a block of early twentieth century warehouses which have been simply refurbished to create a number of high quality open spaces. Our studio has been developed with Archer Architects originally and continues evolving in response to our growing culture and needs.
“The space is massive; offering open space and meeting rooms. We constantly have work showcased across the studio, and a hack-space where we can prototype. On Fridays we make breakfast for the entire team in the generous kitchen area and share ideas, projects, and anything of interest.
“The location is perfect. Very close to tube/overground stations and just around the corner from amazing places to meet and eat. And our favourite summer spot is our rooftop with two giant olive trees from Spain, everyone of us tries working outside every now and then, when London sees the sun come out.”
What do you love about your workspace the most?
“That would be the people working at Method. We are a mix of talents from all areas of the world and coming from different disciplines. We share our appreciation for experimentation and like to shake things up.
“Our company culture is very collaborative, for example – Shotaro Ishii, a visual designer created illustrations for a show with my art collective last year. I will also never forget when five guys from Method’s design team turned up spontaneously and helped install the art show at the Hoxton Gallery until late into the night. Brilliant!
“I am also close to where I live so when I am not lazy I enjoy walking to and from work which really does help clear the mind when preparing/reflecting on the day.”
Any favourite pieces of furniture, accessories or decorations?
“I tend to decorate my desk with things I like, as well as books. For instance, I’ve currently got Method’s Experience Design Book and The Monocle Guide to Good Business. I also have prints from one of my art collective’s shows and left-over ice cream cones from my latest installation with Nuno Oliveira from earlier this year.”
Describe the local creative scene
“Shoreditch really is a creative playground, it is stupidly colourful and ever-changing. What I love is that it feels like a village where creatives from all over the world somehow come together. The people’s design sensibilities are present everywhere and constant.
“You find everything here from white cube galleries to gritty cellar like spaces with bare brick walls; cliche hipster bars, small boutiques, a shop that only sells chocolate, a weekly flower market, juice places, parks, the bike shed, design hotels such as the Ace Hotel and Shoreditch House, fantastic restaurants, tiny cafes, record stores, even the canal is just a quick walk away.
“It is really a paradise for the creative soul that seeks the balance between feeling grounded but also desires constant stimulation.”
To find out more about Alexandra, visit www.alexandraplesner.com. Or you can follow her on Twitter @alexplesner. For more background on Method, visit www.method.com.
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