Back to blog
An image of the author: Benjamin Redford

Foundry 2013

Posted in by Benjamin Redford on 23 July 2013

foundry13

Once again, it’s that most wonderful time of the year when a fresh ruckus of graduates sprout forth from various design education institutions around our fair isle. In my mind mind, this has come to mean three things:

Graduate shows

Chairs

Mint Foundry

To Foundry 2013, we warmly welcome Johanna Cranston, Sam Stanistreet and Shim Smilanksy. Our number four turned us down in favour of becoming an assistant brewer at the Truman Brewery. Totally understandable in our opinion, but watch this space.

This is the third Foundry we’ll be running in as many years. The premise is simple: We house and pay a team of graduates, set them a brief and give them a modest budget. We then work together for three months and see what comes out.

For the past two years, the briefs have been quite specific. In 2011, Foundry were set the task to ‘make something connected to the Internet that doesn’t live on a screen’. 2012 were asked to ‘make a toy that has a reason to exist’.

We learnt a lot during these projects. We now know how much ethanol sourdough produces during the curing process and how to ‘epic fail’ on Kickstarter. But hey, second and third time lucky.

This year is a little different. One of the main objectives of Foundry is to provide graduates with a solid stepping stone into our industry, so they can sustain themselves going forward. We think we’ve achieved this pretty well thus far but would like to take it a step further. We’d like to see if Foundry 2013 can carve out their own space in the industry. The brief this year is simply:

Sustain your future.

Essentially, our graduates have a three month runway to develop, test and execute their own business. If it works, it will employ them for the foreseeable future. If it doesn’t, they’ll all have learnt something new and have a great story to tell when doing their next thing.

They can build whatever they want: Clothes, food stalls, websites, spaceships... Anything’s fair game, except chairs that is.

There is sure to be some blood, sweat and tears along the way, so I’m sure they’d love your thoughts, feedback and support. Follow their progress on Twitter and their thinking on the blog. Let us begin...



  1. Default avatar

    Stephen Allsopp

    02 August, 2013

    Having seen Tim talking last night in Saundersfood, and now reading this - I really like the philosophy you guys are bringing to the business.

    Back in the '90s, when my IT career was doing its first inflationary phase (Big Bang, see?), much moaning was going on about how employees weren't being loyal to the companies - they'd join, get some training, skill up, and move on, and the firms weren't liking this.

    And someone pointed out that perhaps this wasn't so surprising, given how grudgingly given, and bottom-line-focused, companies' investment in their staff so often was: they wanted you to learn THEIR way, and if you didn't fit in, or were surplus to requirements...well, hey, it's not that hard to fire people any more, so goodbye.

    So it's really gratifying to see a company that is prepared to take the risk of investing in potential (products, ideas, people) without everything having to be premised on a quantifiable return.

    I guess the nicest thing I can say is...if (when!) I find myself running a business, I want it to be more like yours than like, say, Morgan Stanley.

    Rant ends.

Sorry, comments are now closed on this post.