you become a designer/artist?
I don't know if I am an artist. I like to think
of myself as a problem solver. In most circumstances
these are design problems; I work in architecture
and in graphic design, and I've been doing some
photography in my free time with friends. Design
is about making things work and at the same
time allowing them to have a new significance.
Great architecture is exciting when you go to
it, because it makes sense (or reinvents it)
based on its own context. The Cooper Hewitt
Design museum in New York is in former industrialist
Andrew Carnegie's incredible mansion; going
there to see it filled with exhibits on hi-tech
fabrics and 18th Century wallpaper suddenly
presents the original living spaces in an entirely
new context. It's the power of design, of architecture,
of graphics, to reissue the assumptions we have
about our surroundings to make them more interesting,
more challenging. It should be about constantly
engaging with our environment, physical, visual,
and otherwise. And it should be Fun! I think
above all design should be fun. There is nothing
as boring as something that takes itself too
Where are you from originally?
Who were your main influences growing
Washington politics, campaign posters. And,
perhaps, the fact that D.C. is somewhat of a
design vacuum. The first time I really came
across "design" was in my High School theater
program, which was stellar, and really put a
lot of emphasis on technical design (sets, lights,
sound, etc.) as an integral part of the storytelling
as much as the actors on stage. Our director
taught us fledgling artsy types the importance
of care and thought in design and perhaps
most importantly helped us learn how to become
editors of our own work, and to always ask questions.
It sounds cliché, but designers that
think designing is just a process of realizing
their "vision" have missed the point altogether.
Designers owe it to each other to ask for opinions,
and learn from each other. Otherwise everyone
would still be taking pictures of their feet
like they did in high school photo class.
Did you go to art school/college for
design or are you self-taught?
I studied architecture and art history at Columbia
University. So, I suppose self-taught?
Any advice or tips to novice designers?
One thing I've found is that when I feel most
defeated and unqualified to work on a project,
it also ends up being when I do the best work.
What are you doing now?
Freelance graphics and photography work, and
working at an architecture firm.
What are your plans for the future?
I think I'll be going to graduate school to
become an architect.
What American artist inspires you most?
I don't know, too many. I love Andrew Wyeth's
What unlocks your creativity?