Studio Desk animate hopeful visions of the future

Studio Desk is a multi-award winning, craft-driven animation studio led by dynamic duo Emily Downe and Kathrin Steinbacher.

The twosome has recently signed to Jelly, one of the UK/US's leading animation production companies and illustration agencies. Meanwhile, their films have been screened at numerous festivals around the world, including Annecy, Slamdance, Ann Arbor, Cinanima, LIAF, Tricky Women Festival, and Animafest Zagreb. Kathrin's film In Her Boots has also been nominated for a BAFTA recently, a short animation which explores a hiker's quest to retain her identity and autonomy.

"We are drawn to projects that are about the real world," explain Studio Desk, "whether it's a personal story, environmental issues, ideas, science, or futuristic predictions. (Basically) anything that animation can be used to communicate the real in a visually compelling and digestible way."

"That also extends to our visual style, which has that hand-rendered, painterly quality to it that shows the direction and pressure of our brushstroke, revealing the human touch.”

Most recently, Emily and Kathrin have created 'three scenes from the future' that caught our eye. Radical Responsibility, which you can watch above, is imbued with Desk's earthy, textured and vibrant style with a tinge of fantasy. Imagining a world where radical transparency into a product's history is possible. It proposes consumers will make better choices, and that brands must compete on ethics in the marketplace.

Also, check out their collaborative film from last year, #FlattenTheCurve, which consisted of three shorts expressing how different people are dealing with the Covid-19 situation through animation. The project saw over 90 animators worldwide contribute uplifting clips based on their time in lockdown, giving a diverse range of wonderfully colourful takes on “the new normal” that hail the benefits of staying at home. Watch two of its instalments here and here on Vimeo.


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