We spoke to Design Week about the impact of a year of lockdown on junior designers and graduates.
Internships are one of the most common stepping stones from education into the workplace, so many junior graduates have faced uncertainty. But virtual work placements have had some unexpected benefits.
The Clearing is Ollie Bielby-Smith's second remote internship, so he was well-prepared for the experience of video calls and Slack discussions. He pointed out that it can be daunting to develop work with people looking over your shoulder, so the remote set-up has helped him feel more at ease during this stage of his career.
Ollie's been working out of his bedroom in Southport, Merseyside for the past few months - which shows the potential to diversify the intern pool in an industry that remains largely middle class and city-centric. Our creative director Jonathan Hubbard:
This industry is dominated by white middle-class people because London is a really difficult place to come and stay. The industry is so narrow in terms of diversity and economic diversity is a really important part of that.
Where will virtual internships fit into the future of work? Remote placements seem likely to stay in place for some time. Read Design Week's full article for more insight into how studios are trying to make sure interns don't feel isolated, supporting mental health, and finding the right balance between work and chat.