Alongside all this, Europa have maintained a fluid approach to their studio structure, with founding members pursuing their own professional interests, either alongside or apart from their studio practice. Troelsen left in 2009 to move to Copenhagen, and at the time of writing, Tisdell is in Australia, though still a ‘sleeping partner’. Meanwhile, Sollis and Frostner remain at the helm in London, joined by freelance designers Lorenz Klingebiel and Gareth Lindsay – “both of them will be running their own studios before too long,” Sollis notes, “but we’re lucky enough to get the benefit of their assistance in the meantime.” They devote a considerable amount of time to teaching, and are currently leading the second year of Camberwell College of Art’s BA Graphic Design course, as well as undertaking an impressive range of talks, workshops, forums and symposia.
The key to balancing this with their commercial work, it seems, is to treat teaching as another ongoing studio project, rather than something on the side. “It didn’t feel like a conscious decision to teach alongside having a studio,” says Sollis, who was already teaching at Camberwell when the four met at the RCA. “It was just something that was happening.” An early stint tutoring on the graphics programme at Winchester University set Frostner and Tisdell on the same path, and their combined activities in design education have gone on inform Europa’s practice as it developed. “Teaching gives us an output for avenues of research which we wouldn’t have within commissioned projects,” they explain. “There is often a dialogue between ideas that we are having for projects in the studio and ideas that we are having for briefs for students.”