Take 10 with… Chris Flack
The DA team want to support our community through these unprecedented times – something we kept coming back to is a focus on connection and community. So we want to do what we think DA does best, sharing ideas, inspiration and information and profiling our community.
With that in mind, we launched a new series Take 10 with… to do a pulse check on how you’re feeling, how you’re working, what you are missing, and what your hopes are for the future. We invited some of our friends, peers and the DA team to participate and we hope you enjoy these honest and candid profiles of Aotearoa designers today.
Strategy Creative Christchurch
How did you get into design?
I trained at the Design and Art College, Christchurch for 2 years. Then I started working at Strategy straight out of design school. My mentors early on were Alec Bathgate and Guy Pask from a design point of view and Douglas Maclean from the ideas side. I was also lucky to be surrounded by some very talented designers/copywriters and strategists that always like to teach young designers a thing or two.
What do you love about design?
That I can take the ideas in my head and make them real. This is really helpful across all the different parts of my life especially when I’m negotiating with my two-year-old son (Life lesson 1 — never negotiate with a toddler).
What or who inspires you?
- Designwise its Vince Frost and Jonathan Ellery (https://www.brownsdesign.com) as they make work that stands the test of time.
- Editorial design and for an impressive body of work — Matt Willey. His work for the New York Times is so so good.
- There is also Rich Roll who is my running/fitness idol. His book ‘Finding Ultra’ is amazing.
How are you feeling right now?
Tired and also hopeful. It feels like I am in the Truman Show. Is this all really happening to us? It’s unprecedented and sometimes I have to pinch myself. I’m very lucky to have a job where I can work from anywhere and a skillset/way of thinking about challenges that is well versed in being adaptable.
Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?
Yes I’m very lucky to be working at the moment. Glad that we have a diverse range of clients and a leadership team that is passionate, adaptable and that really cares about the staff. I just got a “digital” easter egg for easter.
Working from home day looks like below. The main challenge is juggling parenting (I have a 2-year-old), working and then allowing time for my wife to work while either the toddler is asleep or one of us is looking after him. Let’s just say we sometimes wish our boy was younger (then he would sleep more) or older so he would do something that wouldn’t need us to stop him from trying to jump off things/climb the bookshelves when we aren’t looking.
- 7:30 am Start
- 8:30 am Team briefs/catch up on zoom
- 14:30 pm Design team catch up on zoom
- Then depending on childcare and when my wife works, I do some more work at night to cover the hours when I needed to look after the toddler
- I aim to finish around 7 pm
What’s your one tip right now?
Do exercise! Go for a run. I noticed after 2 days that I was going crazy as I hadn’t done any exercise.
Tell us about your current workspace.
It’s our AirBnB lounge which we converted into an office in 1 day. It has a great view of the trees and is very quiet. It also has a fridge in it which is very handy for those “client meetings” 🙂
Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period?
The food court next to Countdown (across the road from our studio) in central Christchurch do amazing Thai food and the family running it is lovely. I made sure I went there before lockdown as I wanted to support them. I’m worried about small businesses like that. So when this is over, spending money locally to support those businesses will be a priority for me.
What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?
That we become more inclusive, find ways to collaborate more and celebrate what makes us unique — us.
Passion Project: @MateActNow