Robin Howie

Design as a role of Citizenship

Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by James Cartwright for Represent's blog, it was a great opportunity to verbalise some of my thoughts about design and reflect on what makes me tick as a designer. If you have a couple of minutes and would like to hear my thoughts on Design as a role of Citizenship then I'd love to share it with you. You can read the full interview here
Robin Howie

Fieldnotes from Venice

Robin Howie

2015 in Review

First of all happy new year to you! 2015 was an incredibly busy year for Fieldwork Facility… as January looks already jam-packed we thought it would be a nice start to the year to take a look over our 2015 and mention a few of the projects we haven’t yet *ahem* had a chance to upload to the site yet.



January started with Fieldwork Facility based in residence at Somerset House. Cassie Robinson invited us to join the Civic Workshop for three months working on our regular projects as well as incubating some of our side projects that have a civic focus (The Nest Project was one of these projects see November)

January saw Bó Drake open it’s doors, we had been working with the East Asian BBQ restaurant ahead of its opening in Soho; we had already delivered the restaurants identity but with the restaurants doors finally opening there was a flurry of work installing the restaurants signage and launching the website. If you haven’t been to Bó Drake do go. Good review in both Time Out here.
View the Bó Drake project here.

In January we also designed the Royal College of Art’s first ever alumni journal which we named ’A’… What’s nice about ‘A' as a alumni magazine is that it really celebrates the RCA’s talent, ’A’ is a magazine for the Royal College of Art’s Alumni, A magazine written by the RCA's staff, students and alumni and A magazine who’s design and visual commissions are from current students and alumni too.


In February we carried on working with the RCA delivering the most successful yet campaign for the RCA Fund. The RCA Fund raises money for student bursaries and scholarships. We delivered a direct mail campaign with supporting video work.


Throughout March we where working on a couple of collaborations with interior design firm Superfutures. Superfutures asked us to design the identities for a few restaurant projects that they where working on, we where commissioned to design the identities for Superfutures to later deliver in-house.

The first project with Superfutures was an identity for a restaurant, bar and grill for a newly anointed Crowne Plaza situated just outside Beaconsfield.

The restaurant’s grill menu has a focus on the local areas livestock heritage and our name ’1269’ comes from the year Beaconsfield was granted a Royal Charter allowing a cattle market in the town, the charter is still celebrated annually as a town fair. We’ll be uploading a full case study of the project soon.


April was taken up by our second project for Superfutures, we designed the identity for Bouillabaisse a new restaurant from Kurt Zdesar with a focus on Coastal Cuisine (which we coined) our identity was born out of the ocean with sea weathered typography which we took great lengths to hand paint and then erode, elsewhere we recreated the ocean using sea salt and bubbling water inspired by the restaurants namesake dish; a bubbling seafood broth.

Read the full Bouillabaisse project case-study here.

Kurt is such a gent and incredibly inspiring to hear him talk about food, we handed over to Superfutures ahead of the launch in May, Kurt has a couple of new projects in the pipeline keep an on eye on what he’s up to on his twitter or instagram.

Alongside Bouillabaisse Superfutures also asked us to work on a concept for a Mexican restaurant concept which sadly didn’t get off the ground but it was a pleasure to work with long-term studio friend Paul Felton on the project.

Later in April we jetted off to Dubai for a fieldtrip on the invitation of the Art Dubai Group. The fieldtrip turned into our first international project.

A photo posted by Robin Howie (@robinhowie) on

A photo posted by Robin Howie (@robinhowie) on

A photo posted by Robin Howie (@robinhowie) on

#fieldworkfacility #fieldtrip

A photo posted by Robin Howie (@robinhowie) on


In May we needed a bit more space and moved to London Fields (under a railway arch in a space confusingly called Field Works) we’ve been there since sharing with some lovely folks like Studio Yes, Matthias Hoegg and Alice Dunseath.

Our field trip proved fruitful, we started work in April on the identity for the first ever Dubai Design Week, we’ll be adding a case study to the site soon but in the interim here’s a peak at the logo and bespoke typeface.

Towards the end of May I took a little break to get married, big thanks again to Paul Felton for running with the ball whilst I was away.


After an amazing road-trip around California it was back to the studio to finish off the Dubai Design Week project. The studio hit an important milestone in June… 5 years since we launched, we wrote about the experience here.


July was a little quiet but after promising it for the last few years we finally launched the first Fieldwork Facility website, yes that’s right your looking at it now, still shiny I hope. Special thanks to Sean & Emma at FormFiftyFive for announcing the new site.

In July we finally launched the Nest Project, it’s a Fieldwork Facility ‘Studio Inquiry’ which is a fancy way of saying it’s project we devised designed and delivered ourselves without a client.

The Nest Project is essentially a project to encourage bird-life in inner city areas, WIRED wrote a really great story on the project here, Fast Co broke the story and since it’s been picked up across the web with coverage on The Guardian, Design Week, Pop Up City and The Atlantic’s City Labs.

It was so fantastic to see such a positive response to the Nest Project, it’s our first product project and for us baby steps in the realms we’d love to work more within playing with connected citizens and networked cities … but also for us it was a chance to design the whole ecosystem around a concept… designing the service, how it communicates and how the project is experienced.

August & September

Throughout August we joined a team at IDEO working on a secret project for 5 weeks. We can’t talk about what we where up to, nothing to see here, move along…


In October we went on a fieldtrip to the stunning Chatsworth House in the Derbyshire Dales to visit our project the Fantasy Dinner Party. Essentially the project is a thirty foot typographic table cloth that invites guests to imagine who they’d invite to a fantasy dinner party at Chatsworth’s Great Dining Hall. The project was featured on Design Week. We wrote about our fieldtrip here.
See the full Fantasy Dinner Party project here.


Back in October we kicked off a project for the Low Carbon Hub. LCH is a social-venture based in Oxforshire setting the standard of community energy. initially they got in touch after seeing our Knee High project for the Design Council, we kicked off by designing them a report for the EU and that’s snowballed into several publications as well as revisiting there website and identity, really looking forward to sharing this one in the new year!

In November we won a place to participate in the Smart Oxford Challenge iterating The Nest Project to present to Oxfordshire’s MP and city officials.


In December Design Week stumped me by asking me what I thought would be the colour of 2016… read my answer here.

Largely though December was heads down on Low Carbon Hub work and planning a few projects to kick off in January (Issue 2 of ‘A’ magazine for the RCA as well as the next campaign for the RCA Fund continuing the Imagination Without Barriers banner).

That’s it 2015 in review, looking forward very much to sharing our new work for the Low Carbon Hub as well as welcoming new client the Courtauld Institute, keep an eye out for the 1269 and Dubai Design Week case studies on the site soon!