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Curiouser and Curiouser – Creative Access interns find out about creative life at Google

Brimming with questions and searching for answers, 50 Creative Access interns and alumni arrived at Google HQ last night for a masterclass with their creative teams

Last night was the third masterclass Google has hosted for Creative Access and as always it left us feeling inspired and energised.

From a beautiful space in Google HQ, a mixture of ‘Grandma’s living room’ meets ‘Technological giants’, we were introduced by our host for the evening, Abi Gyamah, to a number of professionals who work on Google’s creative endeavours.

First up, we heard from Xavier Barrade, who has worked on projects including a Google collaboration with the Natural History Museum to bring the dinosaurs back to life using VR. He is currently working on a project called Draw to Art, which allows participants to sketch anything they like and discover artworks from galleries around the world with similar shapes and designs. This visual tool is the result of Google’s collaboration with 1500+ art galleries and allows users to use their creativity to discover new pieces of art across the world.

From art, we moved to music and had a brilliant talk from Mary Leonard, a multi-disciplinary designer. Mary started off as a graphic designer but wanted to expand the reach of her career.

“I wanna do everything – everything we touch, I wanna do”.

Her current project is the N-Synth Super, an open source online instrument that can be used to generate new sounds. This experimental project is being used to help musicians and producers enhance their creative processes and push them to think about new ways of making music.

For what Mary called quite a simple tool, the time and work that went into the N-Synth Super was considerable. “For something that was basically a square, with a circle on …” Just a heads up to all the creatives out there, as an open source instrument, all the components are free to download and experiment with.

Auditions for the Creative Access N-Synth band will be held shortly.

Last up we heard from Amy Brown, Head of Creative Strategy for Events & Experiences, discussing the ‘Google Curiosity Works’ project to launch the Google Pixel in collaboration with Selfridges.

Amy talked about the importance of emotion, attachment, and personal relationships between audiences and a product that are being launched. At the heart Amy’s understanding of Google is curiosity. Asking questions, finding answers, exploring and being rewarded for this process. Amy built the curiosity works based on these ideas, inspired by interactive theatre (like Punchdrunk and You, me bum bum train) and the idea of creating an environment that makes people leave their world behind.

“I can’t believe I got to create an entirely pink room full of animals, and pretend that was to launch a product”.

Her research included picking up on trends, popular culture and what was most instagrammed at the time, putting this visual language at the heart of her event.

Overall, the most important things to this creative process and creating in general for Google are understanding the processes and structures in place to get things done in a large organisation. This means knowing who needs to sign off what, who takes charge of each part of a process and maintain a good track record to ensure more creative freedom.

Our biggest takeaways from Google are the way that our speakers took charge of their careers and adapted them into what they really wanted to do.

As long as you consistently achieve high standards in your work, you will be given room to play, experiment and try new things.

Thank you to our wonderful speakers for your inspiring words, to our interns and alumni for attending (many of whom had just completed their first days in post) and Google for hosting us.