I do, I mean, I feel a bit of that apprehension with platforms like Snapchat that I tried and have friends on, but I don’t click with it; I get how it works, but I don’t feel a strong affinity for using it.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with snapchat; maybe it just says more about how I’ve grown up and the experiences I’ve had, or maybe it says something about my age or my demographic. So, I do think about it. I guess I probably have some understanding that there will be an expiration date to my skillset and my experiences, and that’s why I do love learning from people so much and keeping people around that challenge me and bring both new exploits and new experiences to bear on my experience set.
Very intentionally, we wanted this to be a show for everyone. Creative people and designers in particular are going to find a great deal of discovery from this, but people who have never pursued any creative goal and don’t have a design background can come it at from the perspective of general curiosity about the way the world works. You can watch, say, Ilse’s episode and come to understand why a sofa looks good in this area and not in that area; or why a certain car gets your pulse quickening versus another that doesn’t.
Right. And when you look at the world around you after watching this show, you can’t help but understand it in a different way.
“I’m driven by my curiosities. By learning more about what made people comfortable in space, researching in Anthropology, Behavioral Science and so on, that really made me understand how we discover the world.”
Well, she’s an inspirational designer, for me, the team, for Morgan (Neville) and Dave (O’Connor). She’s someone who really spoke volumes about how empathy in design can manifest, considering human emotion and human space. I mean, we spend, what, 80% of our lives inside a space? So everything matters, every surface matters, the finish of every chair and table we use matters.
And in so many ways, Ilsa effects the way we live as human beings.
Well her work and her commissions span everything from airport lounges to the cafeteria at Ikea, to high-end hotels to serving ware and pitches and everyday household items. She’s one of the most accessible designers, and she creates the kind of design that almost every single person earth would experience in one way or another.
Well, I think it depends on the person. One of the joys of doing this was that different episodes are going to appeal to different people. And our hope is that, in theory, someone who isn’t involved in design would maybe come through the Netflix discovery engine and find Ralph or Tinker or someone who might give a different path into design.
That was part of the other calculus around how we conducted the casting: the great diversity in practice but also in geography and background could be discovered through the process.
“If you interrogate a situation, actually, the answers present themselves to you.”
Oh, absolutely. It sets the stage for the kind of interaction we’ll have, whether it’s public space or intimate space, space for family or space for friends, it really weighs more on our human interaction, person-to-person, than, I would say, most forms of design.
I think intentionality is the really valuable vector through all of these episodes, but in Ilse’s episode, intentionality combined with empathy is something that is a real a take away for me. Understanding human condition, relating to humans, watching them, observing how they interact with one another, all of those things are key inputs into her design process.
(Laughter) No, but I would love to have her over. I’ve been a fan of Ilsa’s for many, many years, and I think if she did come by, she’d recognize a few of her signature stylistic moves, from the green velvet on my couch, to my love of little brass fixtures.
Oh yeah. I’ve been trying–modestly–to emulate her work for several years. But she hasn’t been to my house yet, unfortunately. The second she comes to San Francisco, though, she’s getting a dinner invitation.
It would be daunting.
Well, one of the great decisions about choosing to partner with Patrick (Godfrey) was we both wanted our forever jobs. We’ve both been at different companies for different lengths of time and I have built into this moment where my want is to build a permanent home for my creative outlet. But I don’t know what retirement looks like for me–if it ever looks like a thing–because I get fulfilled by creative work. If I’m lucky enough to see success here–and I believe that we will–that range of opportunities is always going to look different. It might be a collaboration with one of my Abstract friends, all the way to something I can’t yet imagine.