Oji Masanori x Mjolk. ALSO Collective x Mason Studio. Caesarstone x Tom Dixon. If these recent collaborations have taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to design, two, three, or even four heads are better than one.

But collaboration can be tricky territory, after all, there is an “i” in design. This got us thinking, “how do you effectively collaborate in design?” We spoke to a group of local designers, and came up with TO DO’s top three tips for successful collaboration.

Identify shared goals

It’s important for all parties involved to start off on the same page, and the best way to do that is to outline shared goals. Sit down, do some research, and discuss your design goals and outcomes, a.k.a. the reason for collaborating in the first place. Want to take it up a notch? Identify SMART goals — goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & have a Timeline.

Keep talking

Constant communications between designers is key for effective collaboration. An open line of communication keeps things transparent, and can help spark new design ideas and concepts! Tools like Google Hangout, Slack, and Skype can be super helpful. Collaborators can jump online and have a virtual discussion about their progress, challenges, and new ideas.

Be open to feedback + critiques

The best designs go through rounds upon rounds of feedback and finessing before presentation. Sometimes it can be hard to hear others’ opinions on your concept or idea, but developing thick skin and being open to feedback is crucial for effective collaboration. When giving feedback, tone and word choice is really important — here’s a resource that we like to consult before team projects. After a few experiences collaborating, this will come naturally.

Got some other tips for effective collaboration? Send them to [email protected] + we’ll add them to our list!

The Hemisphere Pendant: Oji Masanori’s collaboration with Toronto-based art gallery and shop Mjolk.
The Hemisphere Pendant: Oji Masanori’s collaboration with Toronto-based art gallery and shop Mjolk.

(Feature Image: ICE: Caesarstone’s 2016 collaboration with Tom Dixon for Interior Design Show (IDS) Toronto this year.)