Home Alma Yard Discover Alma Yard

An insight into this month's Plymouth Design Forum, with Kate Dawkins Studio & James Edgar Studio

As proud sponsors of this event, this month we have double the reason to be excited with Alma Yard resident and PDF co-founder James Edgar collaborating with Netil Corner resident Kate Dawkins as this month's guest speaker. We caught up with James and Kate on what's to come with next week's event and their advice for young designers getting started in the industry.  

What can people expect from this month’s PDF?

Kate Dawkins: Stories, insight and hopefully some helpful tips!

James Edgar: A multi-BAFTA-winning designer, creative director and all round good human being. Kate is renowned for her unparalleled expertise in transforming pixels and projection into breathtaking immersive events, shows, and performances, Kate has captivated audiences worldwide with her extraordinary talent. If you are creative and are in Plymouth on the 30th May, this is an audience you need to be part of.

James, what aspects of Kate's work captured your interest and led you to extend an invitation for her to speak at PDF?

James Edgar: First and foremost it is Kate the person. We have known one another for many years and she was the first person I contacted when we set up PDF. So I’m delighted to finally welcome her to speak in Plymouth. Kate is responsible for consistently designing distinctive visual content for some of the largest global brands, from the giant 360° ‘Audience pixels’ for the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies, to Adidas, Samsung, Jaguar Land Rover, Elton John, the MTV Music Awards and BBC Studios for DCMS and Ministry of Defence. 

And Kate, we’re super excited to hear more about your work and experience in this talk. What do you enjoy most with these experiences?

Kate Dawkins: I really like meeting people, and I know what a struggle building your career can be, so if anything I say helps even one person who attends then that’s a really gratifying feeling.

You both have Eat Work Art studios across two different cities, what’s been your favourite part about having a studio at Netil Corner/Alma Yard?

 Kate Dawkins: I’m pretty new to Netil Corner, but was a resident at Netil House for several years. The people are my favourite part, the other residents are all so friendly, it feels like one big community.

James Edgar: There’s nothing like it [Alma Yard] anywhere else in Plymouth. It is an inspiring place to work in and an impressive place for clients to visit. There is a lovely balance between how original features have been kept and how modern materials have been introduced. The whole yard has a very high spec and the staff are refreshingly responsive and always friendly. Real people, relationships and working together in a physical space are an essential part of how we generate and develop our ideas. Having our own creative environment we all enjoy spending time in brings the best out of all of us. 

Is this your first time in Plymouth Kate? What are you looking forward to experiencing in the city? James, What’s your top places to show someone from London the best Plymouth has to offer? 

Kate Dawkins: Not really – I’ve been to the Boots in Drakes Circus…that's a long story. So, I’m looking forward to experiencing what the creative community get up in Plymouth. I love experiencing new places, a new vibe.

James Edgar: The seafront and Barbican – then fish and chips in The Dolphin.

Finally, What advice would you give to young designers getting started in the industry?

James Edgar: Work hard, be prepared to adapt your design skills over time across new media and software. 

Kate Dawkins: Be curious, ask questions; there are no stupid questions, we’ve all had to learn, and the industry is changing all the time. But also be curious about ideas, keep looking for ideas in the places you wouldn’t expect to find them, the answer is not always in a google search. Also be unique, if you want to make a name for yourself, you need to stand out, not produce work like everyone else. Find your identity and let it speak through your work.

This month’s PDF will be held on the evening of 30th May 2024 at The Barbican Theatre. Don’t miss out on your last chance to get your tickets here.

Hear about studios, news & events