Brooke Foti Gemmell is a Design Technologist at Greenhouse Studios who joined us from the Archives and Special Collections at the University of Connecticut. She is an enthusiastic and passionate member of the team. Brooke recently answered some questions related to her role at Greenhouse Studios.
What is your background, and what did you do before coming to Greenhouse Studios? I graduated with a BFA from the Art & Art History department here at UConn in 2015, with studies in photography, video and communication design and a minor in digital arts. I then worked at Trinity College in Hartford during a fellowship with their Studio Arts department, where I was a teaching assistant, worked in a couple of galleries and had my own studio space. After that I ended up back at UConn working in the Archives and Special Collections Department as an Archivist Assistant, where I processed the collections of a human rights photographer. In that role, I worked with digital data management, web development, outreach & accessibility, and curated an exhibition for a recent conference for the Business & Human Rights Initiative.
What is your role at Greenhouse Studios? One of my roles as Design Technologist is to work on the cohort projects as a design strategist, where I will come up with design solutions and suggestions of technology use. I am also working as a visual designer for the studio itself, working on marketing materials and the website, among other things.
How has the collaborative dynamic of Greenhouse Studios affected your work? I like the fact that I can bounce ideas off of other people in this collaborative space. I believe that being able to consult with others and considering other points of view helps make my work stronger as I gain from the expertise of others. I also tend to be fueled by surrounding myself with other creative, hard-working people as it drives me to do my own work. Everyone here is passionate and invested in what they do and so there is much to be gained from being in this space.
What has been the biggest challenge so far? How have you overcome it? I have actually found it challenging at times to not be the only person designated to getting a specific task completed. In previous positions, I would often be the only one that worked on a specific project, and while it is great to be able to have others help out with what I am working on now, it can be hard to break out of that model that I am accustomed to. Having to step out of that type of role and learning to delegate to others is something that I am still getting used to.
What are some of your goals within Greenhouse Studios? I consider myself to be a creative generalist, so I am looking forward to putting all of the pieces of myself together to get a better sense of who I am as a designer and as an artist. I am also interested in contributing my varied creative experiences within a team setting, and in learning about how those parts can be useful in different capacities and among different collaborators.
How do you see the world implementing Greenhouse Studios’ research in the future? I think that the process model is possibly the most important contribution that Greenhouse Studios can make. Many places are product-oriented, but I believe that being process-driven allows for open-minded creativity and the generation of something unique.
Describe Greenhouse Studios in three words. Open-minded, creative and collaborative.