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The Ideal Studio
Mother London

Mother is a creative agency started in 1996 which now employs 400 people across offices in London, New York and Buenos Aries. Its London office is in the heart of Shoreditch and is a converted biscuit warehouse designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects.


Stephen Ledger-Lomas, at Mother, on...

People constantly moving around...

“The central ethos of Mother from its inception was a small group of people sat around a small table. Now it’s one big 250ft concrete table which the architects built the building around.”

“The great thing about the way the office works is that there’s not a spatial hierarchy in terms of where people sit. Every two months or so everyone switches tables including all the partners. You can only have as much stuff as you carry. This idea of people shifting around is really important, everyone should be aware of what is going on with everyone else at all times, nothing is broken down into silos.”

Not being too cool for school...

“The opening scene of Nathan Barley was filmed round the corner from here. Shoreditch is very aware of itself and we are very aware of our position in Shoreditch. We don’t just hire 22-year-old fashion bloggers from Dalston. The list of nationalities here is ridiculous. The hire policy is very experimental and we get people in from all sorts of different backgrounds – it’s very layered.”

Coming up with and selling ideas...

“We don’t have lots of protocol. If you have a great idea in a meeting you can just shout it out without being asked to leave the room by a creative director. We like the idea of a kind of creative chaos, not that we’d call it that. The more ideas on the table the better.”

“We don’t have any account managers, the client can call the designer, the creative strategist, they can call the chef if they want. That means there’s no hiding places – they are the ones who have to explain their ideas to the client directly. There’s no pass the parcel.”

Bringing creative culture into Mother...

“We’re about to have a big Mother show featuring work by the team here because so many people have these dual lives and amazing sidelines. We have music events, exhibitions, film screenings, Mini Bar where we bring Tech City in and have people pitch ideas. We want to expose everyone in the building to the best work we can possibly find.”

The importance of keeping everyone informed...

“We have an enormous company meeting on a Monday called The Happening where we share everything that is bubbling on and we host an event called If Mother Only Knew where we show New York’s work and Madre’s work. There’s a real impetus to make sure that it doesn’t feel like stuff is happening behind. there literally aren’t any closed doors. You can be working on the biggest pitch of your life and you’re in a room with a transparent plastic curtain. The design room is in a separate part which is a bit quieter. It’s still part of the free flow of the building but it has a slightly different tempo to the rest of the agency. But the other core parts of the business are all sat together and people are never really left in peace.”

Maintaining Mother’s values...

“We have a lot of people here who have been on a long journey with Mother and who can make people aware of the things we have done in the past without ramming it down anyone’s throats.”

motherlondon.com

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