I was recently interviewed for the Passion Project, a self-motivated project by three curious design students (Sahm, Dana, and Sam) looking to discover what it means to “pursue your passions.” It was wonderful to meet them and participate in their really amazing project. They’ve interviewed folks in Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta, Chicago, and now, Omaha. Then Denver, Boulder, and back home to Seattle. Check out their journey here. Following are a few questions I answered. Full video should be online later this year.
What does pursuing your passions look like today?
Making high-quality design available to the do-gooder community. And doing so with a trusted group of highly-talented collaborators who are friends before co-workers.
Have you ever been skeptical of or hesitant about your path?
Of course. Maybe I should get more structure. Maybe I should join a bigger shop. Maybe I should get the hell out of this conservative state. There have been moments in my career trajectory of seriously looking into Chicago, SF, Kansas City, NYC. But small (and medium) suits me, at least for now. I’m not all that interested in super competitive markets. At the end of the day, competing is fleeting. Collaborative and cooperative is the only way we’re all going to get through this gigantic mess we’ve made. Also, if I’m going to work 80 hours a week (which I don’t) I’d rather do it for myself. Our industry has a big problem with overwork and I’m in a very good position currently to constructively do something about trimming the hours down to get closer to 40 per week.
How would you define the relationship between designers and greater society?
In its infancy. Designers need to try to be more involved. No one is going to say, “hey, you should add your costs to this project.” But design/intention has such an important skill set that can be universally applied to a lot of things. Many people smarter than me have said this before. The design community as a whole should continue to advocate for an elevated role in society and individuallycontinue to be ethical, nuanced, and think critically.
What are you passionate about?
Aside from design/intention and putting things together: loud music, progressive politics, meaningful experiences, quality relationships, amazing food, craft beer. And building a life with my wife Katie.