Tuesday, 26 October 2010

We are recruiting............Business Development Intern

Internship, London, Expenses Only

We’re looking for an intern with a demonstrable interest in the business side of the creative industries; the position may suit a recent business studies graduate who is interested in a career in new business development or account management. The successful candidate will be a good all-rounder who, as well as carrying out the tasks outlined below, is willing to pitch in with any additional sales and marketing activity as required.

Campaign Research and Planning:
  • Maintenance and updating of the CRM Sales System
  • Research target markets, industries, sectors & compilation of mailing lists
  • Administrative support to the Business Development Director
Business Development Campaign Implementation:
  • Execution of telephone-based campaigns to generate appointments for the BD Director
  • Following up warm leads by phone to give further information or generate appointments
  • Keeping up-to-date with Assembly product knowledge and services
  • Assisting with preparation and creation of documents for client pitches
In return, you can expect to get:
  • The opportunity to grow your business development skills in a ‘live’ environment
  • Experience of the business side of the creative industries gained within a busy design practice
  • Opportunity to play an important role in a growing company
For further information or to apply for the position, please email richard@assemblystudios.com

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Meet the Team - David Moëd

David Moëd.

Role within Assembly:

What’s your favourite typeface / artist / building and why?
Royal Albert Hall and Albert Memorial – symmetry and location and reason it was built.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend?
Fine Wine and good food with family and friends.

What’s your favourite dance-move?
The rock and roll spin when I turn my partner over.

What’s your favourite place and why?
Lulworth Cove – shows the power of nature and is beautiful.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Matt (only kidding) - sadly slapstick.

What makes you cry?
Matt (only kidding) – soppy stuff like families being reunited after 20 years...

If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters twitter style, what would you say?
Hard working committed family man who values loyalty and friendship and enjoys good food, company and wine.

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A Sneak Peak at Our New Abu Dhabi Office

Here it is - twofour54 Abu Dhabi - our new Middle East office! For more information on working with Assembly Studios Abu Dhabi contact Jon Wells on +971 (0) 2401 2878 or jonwells@assemblystudios.com

Click to visit the Assembly Studios Homepage.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Two years to hand paint 100 million pieces of porcelain… time well spent? By Matt F

Two years to hand paint 100 million pieces of porcelain to make them look like sunflower seeds. Tip them onto the floor of the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern and get the public to wander around on them – Turner Prize? Or Turnips n’ rice?

Well, I bet Ai WeiWei, China’s answer to Andy Warhol, is a bit gutted as he couldn’t have known that such was the enthusiasm for such a dynamic and interesting installation (who are these people?) it would cause a harmful toxic cloud to gather only days after its opening, rendering it utterly futile – I mean, it was tenuous at best, before they had to stop people walking on it…

Now you can only view it from about 50 ft away, from the gallery above – which kind of makes it look like Brighton beach. In fact, these pebbles would look great on my terrace, but a provocative art installation? I’m not sure about that.

I appreciate you can’t expect it to stand up now that you can’t experience the installation as the artist intended, but I’m sorry, this is still hand painted gravel tipped on the floor of a room.

Is it really worth the effort?

I get it - it’s a symbol of the mass production that is taken for granted – you see it as a single material rather than each individual seed hand carved by a Chinese artisan. I just think it’s still a load of cobblers - whichever way you look at it, or walk on it - or not as it happens…

Monday, 18 October 2010

Meet the Team - Ross Cunningham

Role within Assembly:
Creative Director

What’s your favourite Assembly job you’ve worked on and why?
Currently working on a very exciting but confidential film project. The nature of the production enabled us to work for the first time with a choreographer and dance team.

What’s your favourite typeface / artist / building and why?
Typeface – Helvetica – I appreciate that’s the obvious choice but you can’t knock its versatility and longevity. Artist – William Eggleston – for his spontaneous compositions and for pioneering the use of colour in photography. Building – The Barbican – apart from the exhibitions and events, drifting around the building campus offers a rare and surreal moment of calm in the capital.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend?
Taking my kids down to West Wittering beach for a paddle, followed by a healthy portion of fish & chips.

What’s your favourite dance-move?
The Zombie. Technically very challenging… a written explanation wouldn’t do it justice. I’ll have to show you sometime!

What’s your favourite place and why?
Haslemere – my current home town. One of the original founders of the national trust lived there and, as a result, the town is surrounded by acres of national trust forest parks and walks.

What makes you laugh out loud?
My kids’ re-enactments of pivotal Star Wars scenes, performed whilst on the trampoline (with lightsabers).

What makes you cry?
Show no weakness.

If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters twitter style, what would you say?
Concise & efficient.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Meet the Team - Jon Wells

Jon Wells

Role within Assembly
Creative Director, UAE

What’s your favourite Assembly job you’ve worked on and why?
Capital District – Abu Dhabi. It was our first commission on setting up the UAE studio and it was an extremely successful project for the client (Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council) in gaining royal approval for the scheme.

What’s your favourite typeface / artist / building and why?
Chrysler Building – I love the Art Deco styling and it reminds me of my first trip to NYC. Favourite Website - http://www.thecoolhunter.co.uk/

What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend?
Sitting round a camp fire in the desert with good friends and good ‘soft drinks’.

What’s your favourite dance-move?
The Chatham two-step.

What’s your favourite place and why?
London – it will always be home.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Schadenfreude and 30 Rock.

What makes you cry?
E.T. and the current England squad.

If you had to sum yourself up in 140 characters twitter style, what would you say?
Pepperoni pizza/Everton/Hendricks with cucumber/table tennis loving creative Englishman living in the Arabian desert.

More Cattle, Less Class – Matt in United Arab Emirates – Part 4 of 4

My final day saw me make yet another round trip along death alley, to Abu Dhabi to see some local government guys about a website – this one looks like it will come off and combined with something we are looking at for road safety and a brief for some video and motion graphics production, it was a productive trip from a new business perspective.

Was dreading the return flight in light of how busy the outbound flight was, but to my delight it was absolutely empty and I was able to sleep off the week and, er, the Ryder Cup.

I got talking to the Business Editor of the Economist whose job it is to extract an informed opinion about the world economy, travelling the world to work out which economy is doing what to whom and why.

20 years ago he would have been searching for info that others didn’t have – now his emphasis is sifting through the ridiculous quantities of info and making sense of it so we don’t have to.

That all said, the most obvious indicator to me is that two years ago the outbound flights to the UAE were empty from London and you couldn’t get a standby seat to get home.

If my flight experience was anything to go by, the tide could be showing signs of turning again, for the UAE at least. Here’s hoping.

Monday, 11 October 2010

More Cattle, Less Class – Matt in United Arab Emirates – Part 3 of 4

On Saturday I ran out of things to do.

I didn’t want to go shopping, didn’t have ski gloves to go skiing (did consider this) and I was sunburnt so couldn’t really go outside. Again, one of our suppliers came to my rescue and took us all to the beach for sunset and a cheeky glass of iced Limoncelloerm I mean Coca Cola, had a swim and enjoyed watching the very cool kite surfing – I reckon about 20 kites out – going to have to try it at some point.

I was amazed to hear how so many ex-pats never ever go to the beach despite it probably being one of the lifestyle benefits in the UAE in the first place – there are an awful lot of people living a fully air-conditioned lifestyle which seems just plain crazy in my opinion, although it does get very very hot out here and it hasn’t really cooled off completely yet.

Well rested for a change, I headed to Cityscape Global early and slipped in to the conference with a bunch of VIPs by striding through with my name badge flipped the wrong way. Had a great time following his highness, Sheikh Mohammed’s son around the show and watching the 60 or so strong entourage crowding around whilst the press snapped his photo at different stands.

It was, however, the smallest show I have seen there in nine years. It wasn’t global – in fact it was hyper-local if anything, main developers and government depts. from Abu Dhabi even electing to not take space. The other notable thing was that most of the projects on display were already completed… Individual buildings were flogging apartments which seriously downgraded the quality of the event.

I don’t know what the organisers expected, but making a switch to “global” last minute meant, from what I could see, that they were able to sell possibly one or two more stands – one from Paris and randomly, Invest in Ireland, who really didn’t look like they should be there, but in fairness they were busy!!

The usual scousers (I’ve seen them every year for nine years albeit there were less of them) were flogging Carribean pipe dreams to unsuspecting investors - it was the Cayman Islands last year. Guys, you really need to stop wearing shiny suits and you might pull in a few more Brits… “Why wait to buy land when you can buy land and wait?” Hmm let me think for a minute - cashflow, no access to funding, it will tie up what little capital you have or perhaps it’s just a plain daft, high risk idea?? Guaranteed they’ll have a viable answer for all but the last one, so I’ll stick with that thanks…

There were none of the usual suspects from the UK or Australia architecture scene – Aedas, Benoy, Hyder, SOM, Woods Bagot, Gensler and Fosters were all notable in their absence – all of which had stands last year.

I did hook up with the directors of RMJM who were attending as delegates and still have a lot on in the region who kindly introduced me to the guys at Davis Langdon, sorry AECOM, well it will be by the time I post this…

I did better at Longs Bar, watching the Ryder Cup finale which was very kindly laid on for us thanks to the weather in Wales extending it to an extra day (who would ever lay on an outdoor, weather dependent event in the middle of October in Wales and think it was a smart move? Maybe it was the same organisers as the Commonwealth games again??) Anyway, met a nice chap who is going to introduce me to some guys at a big property fund I’ve been targeting so that was great and a good round off to the evening.

To be continued....

Friday, 8 October 2010

More Cattle, Less Class – Matt in United Arab Emirates – Part 2 of 4

After realising the following day that the “map warming party” might not have the impact we collectively and enthusiastically felt it would the previous evening (you should always try ideas out sober first as well) I quickly cancelled said “party” via email, citing “technical difficulties” and that we had appointed the organisers of the Delhi games to rectify the situation – this prompted amused and positive responses and we got a few meetings out of the whole exercise – job done!!

Despite the best laid plans, my intended clustering of meetings in Abu Dhabi in the first half of the week, followed by Dubai based ones in the second half went awry. I should know by now that any meeting schedule out here is indicative at best. As a consequence I was back on the highway that makes the Bolivian death road look like a relaxing Sunday morning jaunt.

Cityscape Global was due to start on Monday, so I had the chance to spend a weekend in Dubai on my own for the first time. I was lucky in that I have been over enough to establish some good friends who kindly offered to include me in their weekend frivolities.

Politely turning down a kind offer of accompanying some ex-pats to a hugely popular brunch (have done this before - give some Brits an all you can eat and drink free bar and set the stopwatch to count down – carnage ensues – fun, but seriously messy…)

I elected instead to fall asleep by the pool, get sunburnt and then head out to a birthday party where I met at least 3 other ex-pats who had done just that, so we glowed like tomato beacons around the table and chewed the fat over politics, economics and how much it costs to rent a car out here….

To be continued….

Thursday, 7 October 2010

More Cattle, Less Class.... Matt in United Arab Emirates Part 1

So it would appear that funding for some of our international clients is starting to lazily make its way to the right places to kick start some projects. In the last few weeks we’ve secured work in Belgium, Holland, Moscow, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

I’m starting to feel like Uncle Travelling Mac (perhaps Matt) from the Fraggles –(showing my age), sending postcards home and dealing with a lot remotely.

This week, I got to travel on the A380 with Emirates for the first time. I’ve been testing ways to get bounced into Business Class and so far the conclusion is offering Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut to the duty manager is the most effective strategy – unless you know a pilot of course…

Sadly on this occasion my efforts were thwarted as I was caught short with just a raisin and biscuit Yorkie which was deemed a sub-standard bribe and did not do the trick…

The other thing to note is that more people, means longer to do everything: checking in, registering at the gate, boarding – it took ages and every single seat on the entire aircraft was taken and there was a long standby list to boot.

Nevertheless, I was excited about the prospect of getting on the most spacious passenger aircraft ever built, that was until I reached my seat to find that the three of us that were due to sit with each other could have played front row for Leicester this weekend. Marvellous, and an overnighter to boot...

What is interesting to note is that 6 months ago, all outbound flights to Dubai were practically empty and all the inbound ones from Dubai were heaving – symptomatic of the exodus of ex-pats fleeing an ailing economy. I was therefore not looking forward to the return journey either.

The main reason for my trip was to assist our Creative Director and General Manager, Jon Wells, launch our long awaited new office in the media freezone within Abu Dhabi, TwoFour54, and to attend Cityscape Global to check out other international opportunities.

Straight from Dubai airport, I travelled to Abu Dhabi by car which is an hour and a half on one of the most aggressively (and badly) driven stretches of motorway you will ever experience. A mixture of locals and ex-pats that choose to live in the livelier Dubai and work in the more prosperous Abu Dhabi, driving at high speed – often on the hard shoulder at 100MPH less than a foot from the car in front. I’ve stopped sitting in the front as I keep imaginary braking – if you try and sleep, you dream about car crashes which really doesn’t help…

The quarterly Twofour54 event was well attended – the media zone itself now has over 90 partners all from the creative services and early indications are proving that this was a good business decision despite the time it has taken to set up there. TDIC (Abu Dhabi’s tourist board) overviewed their museum and cultural development programme which was interesting and we met some great potential partners along the way. I drunkenly dared a PR Consultant to get as many people to our new studio as possible (for a “map warming ceremony”) to view our newly installed world domination map vinyl that we had proudly put up that day…

To be continued….

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

We are recruiting.............Account Director, London

We are currently seeking an Account Director to work from our London studio.

You will have extensive experience of project and account management in the creative industries, exceptional communication and organisation skills with a proven ability to win and deliver medium to large scale projects and build lasting client relationships - ranging from Identity & Print, Web & Interactive to CG illustration & Animation - both on time and to budget.

You will be managing a small but growing team across our three offices, taking a proactive leadership role as the company expands.

You will be required to liaise with our design, sales and marketing teams and report into the Directors and Board.

Knowledge of SalesForce CRM, Access Focal Point Project Management, InDesign and Photoshop or similar systems would be preferable.

For further information or to apply for the position, please email