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AKQA is far from the 'sweat shop' label that it has been given, its founder, Ajaz Khowaj Quoram Ahmed, says.
AKQA's office stinks. It stinks of entrepreneurialism and it stinks of dedication. It makes you feel like a useless human being. Paper pinned to the walls of project rooms bear complex coding and names of clients: Nike, Xbox, Fiat. Two men scrutinise an image on an iPad - they are trying to recreate a diamond in perfect, light-refractive detail. It feels like walking into a beehive, but the bees are people who have genius mathematical minds like Matt Damon's character in Good Will Hunting.
It is this level of focus that AKQA's founder, Ajaz Khowaj Quoram Ahmed, says has led to the biggest misconception about the agency: that it is a 'sweat shop'. Ask three people in advertising what they know about AKQA and they will all say the agency drives creative excellence through the medium of technology, but at least one will say: 'It's also a sweat shop.' James Hilton, the agency's chief creative officer who has been there …