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Big Ideas

Universal Everything: Create Surprises

Inspiration doesn't come from the expected. Matt Pyke, founder of UK design studio Universal Everything, speaks on the power of surprise.


In order to stay unique and fresh, Matt Pyke pushes the boundaries of his work by mixing design, art, technology, sound design, and fashion together.  Matt Pyke is the Founder and Creative Director of multidisciplinary design studio Universal Everything where he has lent his insight and inspiration to leading global brands such as Apple, Audi, Nike, London 2012 Olympics, and Nokia.  We caught up with Matt to chat about his take on maintaining fresh work, collaborations and creating surprises.
To always progress and creatively challenge himself, Matt strives to do things that have never been done before. Matt explains, “The biggest challenge is in educating the public in how we work, we always want to push ideas in a new direction, never repeating what we have done before. The ideal question would be ‘what would universal everything do?’ with faith in our unique approach and process. Its our dedication to convince clients not to cherrypick and remix our past projects, but to allow us to create unique, fresh work to amplify their brand.” 

We always collaborate with people who are experts in areas we love but don’t quite understand.

In order to produce and maintain quality creative work, Universal Studio designs guidelines and parameters for their ideas.  He shares, “We always start with the bigger picture – the aura around the project. By defining the conceptual parameters in which to play within, it gives us freedom to research and develop the creative process which captures the essence of the brand. This could be the aura of ‘warm technology’ – which led to Lovebytes, or ‘global collaboration’ – which led to Nokia.”

When looking for others to cross-pollinate with, Matt looks to collaborate with experts in his weakest areas. “We always collaborate with people who are experts in areas we love but don’t quite understand (code, 3D, architecture) – they bring their processes and skills, and we bring near-impossible ideas which they thrive on making them happen. We are always searching for new talent to work with, to bring new thinking into the mix.”

Like any relationship or marriage, Matt believes that we have to spice it up a little in order to make our ideas happen.  Creativity should never turn into a routine.  He explains, “Create surprises for yourself: Listen to music you wouldn’t usually, go to a different section of the bookshop, visit an antiques shop instead of a gallery, listen to old people.”  Throughout his career, Matt keeps to a mission that is embodied in all of his work.  “Our mission is to keep playing, keep exploring, keep evolving. Change is what excites us, hope we never know what project is coming next. We want to create work that lives forever, is unique to each user, that plants a seed and grows in another direction to what we expected.”

Comments (1)
  • glowingSoul

    absolutely inspirational!!<br />
    cutting-edge thinking

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