V&A Touring exhibitions Team Away Days

Since 2014, Open To Create… has co-designed creative Away Days for teams within the V&A’s Exhibitions Department. Touring Exhibitions is a team of 45+ people.

The Away Days took place in 2014 and 2015 when a new head of department joined the senior management team, and wanted to better understand and grow the existing team dynamics and momentum.

In 2015 we worked with the Touring Exhibitions Team to deepen their understanding of the new V&A Values linked to a range of strategic change programmes.

We took the team to Cody Dock for a morning of talks from Sadlers Wells, and Simon Terrill and Simon Myers from Cody Dock about the regeneration in the Olympicopolis site in Stratford.

Teams took part in planting, weeding and shed building activities and spent the afternoon in team groups using Bags of Creative Surprises to visualise and hand make the V&A Values. 

Feedback from participants on the day’s impact:

“It went beyond my expectations re. collaboration, community spirit and the sense of making something together, and the great location added so much.” 

“I learnt how my personal / life / professional preferences can translate into professional working on a scale whilst thinking about the bigger picture.”

“The making sessions helped me to see how I and others can apply the V&A values creatively and daily.” 

“How working together outdoors highlighted how well we already work together as a team and how adaptable we are.”

“It was much less pressured to 'deliver'. There was time to chat and connect with each other.”

Key Facts: 

Client: The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, (est 1852) is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects.

The V&A also operates The Museum of Childhood and is growing new sites in Olympicopolis (Stratford, London) and Dundee. Winner of the Art Fund Museum of the Year Award 2016.

Venue: Royal Opera House, 2014; Cody Dock, 2015

When: 2014 & 2015


In 2014, we wanted to inspire creative thinking within the team’s day-to-day administrative and project planning cycles whilst maintaining the globally renowned brand quality of the V&A.

Although there were good working team dynamics, staff churn and motivation within demanding project work cycles were areas of focus.

We provided practical creative one-to-one and small group activities with 45 team members, working together to explore and expand ideas, experiences and strategies for creativity, and connecting internal and external customer service.

We facilitated an African Drumming Workshop with Tom Morley and Instant Team Work. Participants pulled together as a team in a shared performance.

The day ended with a free-style walk to The Hayward Gallery to inspire ways of being more 'off-plan' during the working day.


Feedback from participants on the day’s impact:

“I was surprised by how creative our department is, and how well integrated we are.” 

“Varied creative content allowed for exploration of the main topic with room for more personal exploration and interaction.”

“It was great to do creative things / with people in the department.”

“I learnt that there are always new ways we can develop the services we offer and how we can link better to external departments / customers.”