Raising the conversation

Or, how we gave birth to Hookturn

A couple of years ago, a few months after I started working with Ross, we were talking business over a gentle beverage. We agreed about a lot, particularly the state of the conversation in our part of the world.

At the time we specified our part of the world as Melbourne, Australia, but also as Design.

We had noted:

  • a deficit of nuance in argument and people not being able to defend their work or position
  • too much reliance on affirmation, attention or examples from colleagues in the Northern Hemisphere
  • a lack of pride or exploration of the quality of work being produced here
  • a general reluctance by people to do the extra work it takes to make something really good instead of just getting the job done.

These were implicit issues in our society and it would take a lot of work to make any difference. We started by keeping the goal of improving the way local people spoke about their work in mind when making all business decisions.

This led to us starting The Nudge: an evening in which we interview someone else’s client to find out why they made the decisions they did about a certain design.

Soon we started releasing the events as a podcast so more people could enjoy the conversations we were having.

Then we realised that we needed more conversations.

That’s how Hookturn was born.

We created a label under which we could release podcasts and publications that would help lift the tone of conversation. We had some simple rules:

  • Everything released must be planned.
  • Recordings must have all main voices in the same room.
  • Everything released must be edited.

In addition, we wanted to curate a feeling for the product under the label. All the shows force us to look at the world in a way we haven’t before.

We’re really proud of the work with Hookturn. We encourage you to take a look and download some of the shows. Have a listen and let us know what you think.

It’s part of our desire to be better designers and make our part of the world a better place.

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