What is studio culture?

Understanding the approaches, processes and tools we use to create a positive team culture.


Andrew Nott

Andrew Nott

UX Creative Director

‘Studio Culture’ film made with Code Computerlove and Andy Davies

At the BBC, we have a large design team working in multi-disciplinary teams across the country. We strive to make this distributed community as strong, vibrant and collaborative as possible. This can be a challenge, but when we get it right, the reward can be seen in both the team and what we create for our audience. Over time, we've come to call this Studio Culture.

There are many ways in which we support our designers within the BBC, and we're always looking for ways to iterate and develop these processes. As creative leaders at the BBC, we learn a lot from each other though the diverse range of experiences we have. We also understand that this is something that is important within the wider design community. We wanted to find out if what works for us works for others too, and if there was anything else we could learn.

We reached out and spoke to design leaders and creatives from AKQA, Co-op Digital, Google, and ustwo. We wanted to find out why building and maintaining the culture was important to them, what they've tried over time, what's worked, and what they've learned.

More from this series:

Sharing work regularly Leanne Majhu, Creative Director of UX&D at the BBC, gives an insight into her methods for improving sharing and routines amongst dispersed design teams.

Working with other disciplines Whether it’s working with editors or engineers, the BBC’s design team encourage a collaborative culture across disciplines, moving away from ‘siloed’ working.

Building healthy teams Maintaining collaborative and consistent team cultures within a large organisation like the BBC can come with its challenges.

Collaboration with other designers As a design leader, there are lots of ways you can influence how collaborative your team is, from exercising humility to finding common ground.

Communication From an outside perspective, design is largely about talent, knowledge and creativity. However, part of being a designer is also about effective communication.

Influential leadership In multi-disciplinary organisations, creative input and energy coming from all directions are just two of many complexities that leaders must manage well.