Chrissy filming a fellow student having a crack at PowerPoint Karaoke. Photo by Morten Årstad
In late 2010 we opened the doors of Dolly Rogers HQ to a group of students visiting from Falmouth University. We were going to write a blog post about the visit ourselves but found out someone had already beaten us to it. One of the visiting students, Chrissy Styles, wrote a fantastic summary of her time at Dolly Rogers on her blog. So we we decided to invite her to share her experience at our office on our site.
Last November, I and 30-something other students from University College Falmouth went on a study trip to Amsterdam visiting design studios. For many of us this was the first opportunity we’d had to visit a working studio and expectations were pretty high.
I won’t lie, after three days of visiting studio after studio, I was getting a little disheartened. I understand that designers are ridiculously busy people and having to entertain a load of students for an hour or so is a bit of a hassle, but if you’re not enthusiastic about your own work, how do you expect us to be? I can’t remember how many slideshows I sat through, knowing that I should be interested but slowly nodding off all the same.
Dolly Rogers were the last studio we visited, and when Chris and Jennette bounced into the room (complete with a ukelele) there was a definite sense that they might be different. Instead of presenting to us, they made us do the presentation. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Powerpoint Karaoke but it is terrifying. Basically you’re given a theme or a prop, a partner, a bunch of random slides you’ve never seen and two minutes to cringe at the sound of yourself talking nonsense about whatever comes to your head.
I HATE public speaking, but I didn’t really have a choice. And although it was possibly the longest two minutes of my life, once it was over I sort of got the point of it. Being a creative is about trying new things, taking risks, and thinking on your feet. It wasn’t so bad, really. I mean, everyone was just as cringe-worthy as each other.
So this is what made Dolly Rogers stick in everyone’s minds. They got us involved, gave us a taste of what it was like to be part of their team and most of all, it seemed like they actually enjoyed having us there – it wasn’t a hassle to them. Although that might have had something to do with the fact that watching a load of nervous students make absolute tits of themselves is, as it turns out, a really really good way to spend an afternoon.