Digit has had a summer of great interns. We recently hosted English graduate, Harry Wilson for two weeks. These are his thoughts on his experience at our studio. All the best to you, Harry. — NM
Thanks to these couple of weeks with Digit, I’ve finally begun my preparation for the first leap in my career. Some of the things I have heard in meetings and spoken with people about one-to-one have invited me to begin forming some views, or at least musings, about technology and the marketing communications industry in general.
Firstly, I wasn’t quite aware of the issue of boundaries within the world of marketing communications, at least in contrast to the idea of interdisciplinary knowledge and the need for a holistic service. To what extent should people still be going to separate agencies for branding and identity, design, technology, and advertising? What are the boundaries between people’s different job roles within a team or between departments? How far might a strategist contribute to something traditionally tasked to creatives? It’s my belief that Digit has offered the beginnings of a few solutions. For a start, the openness of their brainstorm sessions allow a kind of space in which people’s departments can be temporarily transcended, before they return to their subsequent roles. The size and intimacy of the company serve to increase this effect, as a group will usually consist of only one or sometimes two people from each department. In this sense, I hope that Digit never grows in size. I hope instead that it simply duplicates itself.
More significantly, Digit has completely changed my attitude towards technology. I never quite understood just how much they put into practice their emphasis on placing the user first until I witnessed the actual process behind their approach to technology. By insisting upon the mutuality of experience and identity, Digit challenges the issue of boundaries (why separate branding and technology?) and offers their clients not just effect, but seamless affect. Just as computers used to be considered cold, functional robots, we in turn became scared by scientific theories that we too were hardware bodies, programmed by the software of the brain, and controlled by genetic chips. Neuroscientists now argue that we are not ‘wired up’; we are not completely determined by our genes, so why does so much technology remain detached and rigid? We experience life in an enactive way, and our brains physically alter in reaction to our surroundings. Just so, technological experiences, as extensions of reality, should be truly interactive.
Overall, I cannot believe how readily I was incorporated into the Digit daily life, and how seriously I was taken. I follow a rather long line of visitors to Digit this summer and, as my father often reminds me, ‘these work experience kids’ are more of a burden than a help. However, at Digit I was made to feel genuinely useful and so many staff members made the effort to contribute to my education. Such kindness evidently comes naturally to the Digit community. My time here has taught me far more than I have space to mention, and I have met some genuinely inspiring characters. I hope I can keep in touch.
Oh, and P.S: on my last day, they sent me on a little errand. To Rotterdam. How about that for work experience?