Family Affairs Studio presents a newsletter about systems design, automation, and solutions for creative people's problems

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work ◆ flow

introducing work ◆ flow

introducing work ◆ flow

Introducing work ◆ flow, a newsletter by Family Affairs Studio. You’re reading the first issue, written by co-founder Michael Holt, where he outlines our vision for a better world where technology aligns with people.


Current Offerings

AUTOMATED
: A workshop series offered through WORKING GROUP Z, an initiative organized by NOR RESEARCH STUDIO at NAVEL. Dip your toes at an upcoming workshop in February or March. Sign up here.

AIRTABLE COACHING FOR GROUPS & INDIVIDUALS
Book coaching sessions to troubleshoot your workflow issues.

CUSTOM SYSTEM DESIGN & AIRTABLE BUILDS
Fill out our new client intake form and then schedule a consultation for a quick call on how we might work together.


DREAMING ABOUT HUMAN TECHNOLOGY


At Family Affairs Studio, we believe the future will be automated. But that doesn’t mean it has to be shitty.

If you’re like me and sought work in creative businesses or uplifting cultural organizations because you had a desire to produce a long-lasting, meaningful, and positive change, the world as it stands has probably been a bit of a disappointment.

For many, the workplace has even become the site of a shared and bitter contradiction. We are forced to constantly ask ourselves about the validity of what we do and its effect on other people while fixating on our next paycheck and the bills that will deplete it.

Though our culture often boasts about the promises of the future, most businesses and organizations are working with systems and tools that are stuck in the past. Even if they understand how systems work, they adopt an antiquated approach to building them. Even if they’re using digital tools, they may not understand the power of setting aside time to learn their less obvious but significantly valuable uses.

Working alongside these teams, I leave meetings, studio visits, and board retreats filled with inspiration and lofty goals. Those dreams suddenly come to a halt when a crucial contributor cannot find the most updated Google Doc where those goals were transformed into actionable objectives.

Even then, workers have become conditioned to do the most cumbersome work with insufficient resources. When I hear about staff who barely have time to eat lunch let alone sit down to reflect on the ways that they’re getting trapped in an efficiency-killing cycle, I understand. I started Family Affairs Studio with Elaina because I’d been trapped, too.

work ◆ flow is a newsletter designed to help you and your team work and grow together. It seeks to help you arrive at an internal flow – the feeling of effortlessness that comes when all group members are aligned, know what they’re responsible for, and can see how all the parts intersect without straining themselves. The automation tools our studio builds feature heavily in that change, but in ways you might not expect. Our bet is that once you’ve experienced the ease that automation allows, you’ll understand how destructive uphill battles are. Instead of problems as obstacles, you’ll see them as bundles of tension ready to be unwound.

Arriving at flow takes serious work. It requires investment, time, and resources from all those who are touched by a system or process. By slowing down and looking not only at where we’re headed, but also how we want to work together to get there, we are able to build teams and systems that are aligned and, well, flow.

But as you might have surmised, Work ◆ Flow is also about work. Our relationship to work. The demands that work puts on our lives. Developing a healthier relationship to the work that sustains us. Accepting that work isn’t just about a job or a project — it’s about growth and the willingness to change.

We'll be sharing more in the coming months about the work we do to solve creative people's problems. For now, we'd love to get to know you and see how we might work together. Fill out this new client intake form to tell us more about your project, and then schedule a free consultation below.


Who We Are

Family Affairs Studio is an experience design studio founded by Michael Holt and Elaina Provencio. We have over 25+ combined years working with organizations, brands, and studios like Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Caveat, NAVEL, Stuart Thompson Productions, Denniston Hill, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation's Residency on Captiva Island, Visions2030, LAVA Coalition, LDK Productions, and LA Commons.

Michael Holt is an artist, producer, creative strategist, and systems designer based in Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the independent artist space NAVEL, where he has organized programming for artists and cultural workers since 2018. Michael is the co-host of POWERVERS, a podcast exploring queerness and sexuality, and has been an independent manager and producer for choreographer Spenser Theberge as well as Chris Cruse’s underground rave SPOTLIGHT.  From 2012 until 2015, Michael was the Assistant Director of Marketing at Lincoln Center, where he guided loyalty marketing efforts across the center’s programs and festivals.

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