Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Teaching Business People to ‘See Beauty in the World’

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

the soul… never thinks without a picture


Canada’s National Post just ran an article Aug 14 titled ‘Painting outside the Bottom Line‘ about McGill’s professor Nancy Adler’s message to business scholars, gathered for the Academy of Management meeting – the worlds largest association of business scholars.

Adler, an artist who also holds a PHD in management advises business schools to teach students how to ‘come back to seeing beauty in the world… and stop obsessing about the bottom line’. She challenged the scholarly attendees with this question… ‘How do we proclaim our profoundly human role as creators and as leaders?’

Video interview with Nancy Adler.

A Resistance Force

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010


Ever feel like something is stopping you from blogging, tweating or writing? You can’t quite explain it, you want to… but you don’t. Perhaps procrastination or writer’s block? Bestseller author, Steven Pressfield, has a name for this – Resistance. A writer friend Mike Todd recommended Pressfield’s ‘the WAR of ART’ to me, saying he’s read it numerous times. Pressfield delightfully took me on a journey into a realm that would resonate powerfully with any professional or amateur artists, writer and entrepreneur. As the enemy, he describes what Resistance feels like, it’s goals and thankfully his learnings on how to combat it like a warrior.

So while I’ll acknowledge that ‘Love It’ has succumbed to Resistance these past couple of months, it’s not been for want of ideas, learnings or inspiration… there are plenty. Resistance simply hasn’t wanted us to write and has insidiously and shamelessly won out. Resistance defeats us all. But not for long. The WAR of ART’s back-cover is accurate, it’s an ‘inspirational, funny, well-aimed kick in the pants…’

A powerful thought…

Monday, May 10th, 2010


…Reinforced for me this week by a couple of conversations with mentors I admire.

Inspired Learning – why is it so rare?

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Last month I attended ‘Podcamp 2010’ in Toronto. Podcamp is a free un-conference for anyone interested in exploring the cutting-edge of social media. The event was held at Ryerson University in Toronto and 1,400 people showed up. Not a penny was spent on marketing. It was all done through social media.

Presentations were 30 minutes – fast paced, full of info. I loved the short format. I loved the pace. Loved the energy of the crowd (who were mostly under 30). I left feeling inspired.

A week later, I attended ‘The Art of Marketing, Canada’s Marketing and Innovation Conference.’ It was held at the Metro Convention centre, one of the least inspiring venues in Toronto, in a huge dark hall with theatre style seating. The speakers were top notch, Seth Godin and Mitch Joel but I found the format and setting stifling and as I looked around the room It seemed like people were having a hard time staying awake – at a price tag of $400 (without lunch)!

Educators and developers of conferences need to be ever more mindful of creating an experience aligned with the content – if a conference is on innovation then let it BE innovative. Shouldn’t a sustainability conference be sustainable instead of people flying all over the country to attend? It’s not just about the ideas communicated in a learning environment to satisfy our insatiable cerebral appetite. We also learn through from feelings – feelings and impressions that result from an experience and – linger with us, reinforce a message, motivate and inspire us at a deeper level. Ideally, people should leave feeling inspired, ‘feeling the message’, and do we dare say – loved? Sure its always easy to criticize but my intention is to ask – why is that so very often, in learning environments in particular, the talk is not walked.

Design is a relationship

Friday, February 5th, 2010

It’s best kept simple, yet an element of intrigue goes a long way. Honest communication (words or visually) builds trust now and in the future. Be wary of process and analysis, over doing it can remove not only that mystery, but stunt it from running its natural course.

Apple of my eye

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010


23 years ago, at the age of 5, I was introduced to Apple. In 1987 I sat down in front of my first mac, a Mac Plus. I quickly fell in love. The user interface, the friendly icons, the fun apps. I had been introduced to a product that truly captured my imagination. At heart I was a geek, but no Windows PC would do. Apple’s passion for design and detail brought to life my own passion for creativity, design, and paying attention to the little details. The stuff that makes great products insanely great. Today in my career I work with an incredible team of people who all share a passion to design. I love what I do, the creativity that Apple inspires, and the incredible products they create that allow us to do what we do best. Think different, and create the unseen.

My eyes light up and I fall hard

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

I love the logic of math and science, the engineering that lets us bring the idea to life. But I am truly delighted when that order collides with randomness and the impractical (ever seen a building by Hundertwasser? That’s what I’m talking about!)

Loved Canadian designer is gone

Friday, January 8th, 2010

I’d like to send my love to the Watt family and the team at DW+Partners and wish them our heartfelt condolences on the loss of Don Watt. Don was a true leader in our industry in Canada and made his mark on so many iconic brands. I had the pleasure of working with Don on a number of projects over the years and enjoyed the experience of sitting in meetings and watching him perform his magic. He was the kind of guy who’s personality lit up a room with wonderful stories of travels and the interesting characters he met along the way. Always smiling with an easy disposition and an engaging story to tell. He will be missed. Globe Story.

Natural selection

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

What came first, seeing love to know love? Or knowing love to see love? I am humbled by the elegance of nature’s design, the seemingly effortless convergence of form and function, strength and fragility, symmetry and asymmetry. What doesn’t work will not last long.

How much incubation does it take to see an idea through? How much love will you give to receive the love you need?

Does the world need design?

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Have you ever thought what the world would look look like without design? I don’t think a week goes by working in the design industry where I don’t ask myself – hey, what would the world look like without design? Most likely, we would have a hell of a time getting up in the morning and effectively getting under way. The financial masterminds of our world have shown us what they can do with things if left unchecked. When we begin the discussion that we ALL need to see differently to love… well, I start thinking about what is it that we are loving or looking to love? Here’s my thought…we fall in love with great design, design is an expression of love – designers truly create out of love. When we begin to apply too much logic into the design process the love decreases. The world’s love meter needs to change. If we begin to see great design we’ll begin to see the world as it was designed to be seen – and begin to really love it.