I'd offer this in the history of my self. My legacy, the work that I do, it's all about curiosity -- a willingness to learn, to get heart fully into challenges that are set in play. My clients, their business paths and what it means for me to aid them -- they are for me: about commitment, about passion, about emotion, beauty and connectedness. There's a string in my life -- a snapping line. I started out with a love of nature, and the oceans -- and thought to link them up, later in college. So I was at The New College, in Sarasota, FLA. And it was supposed to be a new experimental college. But, the science was stiff and unreal -- and in learning about things, we killed them. So I talked to my professor and he commented on my laboratory journals and said -- why not go there, get into that. Journals, drawing, the combination of text, arrangement and visualization. Of course my parents freaked out. And a friend of the family, a big person in the space of art, said "cut off his hands -- art, it's too difficult!". From there, I wandered -- I went to The Evergreen State College; and there you can build your learning programs the way you want. Then I was reaching elsewhere -- like The Cooper Union in NYC; friends were there, so I comped a pass and spent time in there, learning more. Then Reed College -- hanging out with Lloyd Reynolds, at his house, and the campus, there. Then the Imperial College in London. I wrote to people. Then I visited them -- the luminaries of American design. Then I got a NEA grant to go to Europe -- and to present in Moscow and Tallinn, on American Design. But what I was interested in was something specialized -- design / art / culture / architecture / writing: how do they relate? So I spent time wandering along these lines, as well as giving those talks, and presenting everything back in the States. I kept at the writing, the study of art history, the history of the alphabet, paper, book making -- writing and culture; paleography. And I was studying design, fine printing, book design, paper making, printmaking, drawing, bookbinding, calligraphy and architecture. Surely there was some kind of connection, right? And of course there is. Really, they are all woven together, they are all just variations on the theme of threading content, visuals and experience together. And that's where I'm working and playing now. After college, I kept teaching there at Evergreen for a bit; it's so beautiful in the south Puget Sound -- inland water ways, islands, quiet forests, country roads. And moved up into the San juans; and living across from the city of Seattle on Bainbridge Island. That was great -- I had a little rental house in the town on the island; and I had a office right next to the ferry terminal on the waterfront in Seattle. Then, I moved into the city, living mostly in different places in the city -- near downtown. From there I began to work as a kind of specialist renegade designer all over the US. Then Europe. Then Asia. And, for 30 years since that time, it's what I've been doing. Practice. Being content. Making difference. Exploring risk. But it all goes back to that snapping line from the heart of me -- listening to the story, illustrating and advancing the character of it, getting it out to the world.
Exploring Risk | Being Content | Making Difference | Story Telling | Finding Anew | Rejuvenating | Seeking Resonance | Listening Loud | Speaking silently | Attention getting.
I offer this: the story of you is worth something; it's good to know more about who you are, and how you are living in this world, In my personal experience -- the element that changes things, that changes the way that people connect with eachother, is about sharing your story. There's real power there, and speaking your story, your path, helps me to understand more about you, what you do, what you are exploring, and where you are going. You can share it with me, or you can share it with others. But please -- share it. Think of it this way, if you can: be your content. Be content. Being content. What you do every day is really about that, isn't it? You are, in your actions and explorations -- and offerings to the world: content. Get it out there.
Tell me about you and what you are doing -- and really, how can I help you? For a long time, I've been working as a designer and strategist, all over the world. So, maybe you have a question? Help?
Paying close attention. I think that I have this character that's all about experiencing things. And when people connect with me, they start talking. I'll listen to them. And everything. All at once.
I made some friends. That's the best part of TED, for me. What stories learned, what friends encountered. But there's one thing that I really learned -- and it kept repeating itself. One, was -- that sometimes in listening, you're really not (listening). So the real key for me, to the learnings of TED; it's: pay attention. And I know that I've mentioned that in other parts of this line of query @ TED.com. So, for example: I'd never really paid attention to the music of Tracy Chapman -- so, for once, I listened; and I met her and told her that. I didn't really know about the amazing layering of mystery(ies) in the story lines and developments of JJAbrams. So I listened, met him and told him about it. Then, there was Edward O. Wilson -- and he'd changed my life as a child, and in speaking, he reminded me about that, the sensing of the curiosity, the character of paying whole attention to the world. So that's it -- paying attention; holistically thinking about the sphere of who you are.