Branding & design

Olins, Wally. (15 of 19). The Oral History of Wolff-Olins

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  • Recording date

    2001-11-05, 2001-12-14

  • Is part of (Collection)

    Oral History of Wolff Olins

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Reading

  • Interviewees

    Olins, Wally, 1930-2014 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Roberts, Melanie (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 15: Wally Olins [WO] continues talking about Forte and Hans Arnold and the trusting work relationship they built. Explains the internal and external team structure for this size of job. Returns to the question of the glass ceiling within WO reflecting on the way that elements of a macho culture might inhibit women staff members' progression. WO refers to a 'court culture' as well as an unavoidable sexual tension that might exist between men and women and the impact this might have on individual careers. Expands in various ways including commenting on women that have worked for the company. This leads to a discussion of John Smythe and his behaviourist approach which he developed into a significant satellite of Wolff-Olins. He explains the conditions under which JS finally left to set up on his own with Collette Dorward . WO also touches on the loss to Wolff-Olins through its internal resistance to exploring this area in relation to its own activities as well as to the market where design was becoming a less significant feature of branding than other aspects such as corporate behaviour. More general commentary about senior individuals within WO. Gives the background to Doug Hamilton joining the company where he ran Wolff-Olins Hamilton.

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