Keeping it Real

Last Friday we held our annual Isthmus Conference – this is the one day a year when our whole studio gathers together. First, each one of our eighty strong team shared what ‘keeping it real’ means to them – what keeps us grounded. We laughed, and we cried.

We then heard from guest speaker Gael Surgenor about her work at the Southern Initiative to tackle the complex and interconnected challenges that face south Auckland communities. With that in mind we then spent the afternoon in teams engaged in hand-on design research in the ‘forgotten’ suburb Te Atatu South, coming up with ideas of how to reverse social isolation and celebrate the latent potential of its people. We built ten bikes which we gifted to the grassroots community group Heart Of Te Atatu South.

We finished up back at the studio for chilled Wellington-studio-brewed beers, amazing food from the Lucky Taco truck, prize-giving and the highlight of the evening; the debut performance from Aotearoa-alt-country collective The Oiois – all the musicians are members of Isthmus.

It was an inspiring day – fantastic to be able to give something back to the community and at the same time strengthen the shared purpose of our team – that’s what keeping it real looks like.