At Block Club, we pride ourselves on bringing a global perspective to every project. One of the ways we do this is through travel.
Early on, we realized that interacting with different cultures and perspectives could help us become better creators and problem solvers. The Block Club Residency Program was born out of this realization.
The Residency Program
Encompassing a six- to eight-week stay in an international city of their choosing, the program lets our team members experience what life is like abroad. Block Club covers all transportation, housing, and food costs for employees during that time.
Team members work Monday through Thursday from co-working spaces, cafes, or wherever they feel comfortable. Weeknight evenings and Friday through Sunday, they’re encouraged to explore their temporary city and surrounding region. This gives them the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and connect with the local professionals and creatives—exchanging ideas and experiences the entire time.
Laying the Groundwork
We want to make sure that our team members get the most out of their time abroad. So, before employees leave, they are tasked with making professional and personal connections in their respective destinations and mapping out sites in the area.
This way, when they arrive, they are already somewhat familiar with their surroundings and have a support system in place to help them get acclimated to and immersed in the local culture.
Personal and Professional Growth
Coming from a medium-sized city, residencies are essential to helping us build connections on a global scale. During their time abroad, our team members meet regularly with other agencies to get a closer look at how they work and create. When they return, each team member presents their learnings to the rest of the Block Club team, allowing us to better evaluate our own practices and creative processes, and get inspired by fresh ideas that ultimately improve our work.
Why Being Curious Matters
“We want better.” That was our mantra at the start, and it continues to be more than a decade later. The Residency Program allows us to see what better can be. It keeps our minds perpetually open and committed to growth.
From Buenos Aires to Copenhagen to Mexico City, each residency is a lesson. They allow us to consider and interrogate all aspects of our work, from how intuitive design can be, to how we use color, to how to incorporate our personal styles into professional projects, just to name a few. But the most important part of any residency is coming back and sharing what we’ve learned.
We share new habits and customs with our neighbors. We share new approaches to problem solving with our clients. We even plan to share the model for the Residency Program itself so that more companies are encouraged to try it out.
After all, a rising tide raises all ships. And at Block Club, we believe a more curious world is a better one.