Monday, May 14, 2018

Maker Fair - DIY, hands on workshop

Chapter 1 - Maker Fair;

I applied to show - a ticketed event! If you are curious I will be talking and showing about everything that I do - we will talk Peak Furnishings and IKEA Hacking!

Also, I had to write a sad e-mail today:


...perhaps there was a misunderstanding - I assumed that design was for you personally - and I would be happy to execute it for you. However, I don't work through designers/decorators - I have my own design practice, and I have specific goals that I want to achieve - affordability of design is a big issue for me. I only work directly with the end-client in order to reduce the cost and keep my work affordable and popular - I just run one kijiji ad....
I apologize, but I am unable to help you with this one, I hope you understand,
all best,

Karol
Studio Kosnik


You would be shocked how many people I meet - artists/designers - who sign up for representation, and then are unable to get out of the contract. Your creativity, your work forever chained to a master - yes, you are famous, and you are in demand - but you are at a fickle of an individual who can ruin you if you disagree. I thought that was annoying - I am using the Internet to fight that. I believe that given our ability to connect, one should be able to market to people who need your services DIRECTLY. Without the 'middle man'. I think it is more democratic that way AND more affordable.....



















just some thoughts.....

Monday, April 9, 2018

DELAKTIG is in! I repeat, DELAKTIG IS IN! - Industriell 2!

CHapter 1 - DELAKTIG has landed! 

With Tom Dixon bragging that this is the first - maybe only - IKEA sanctioned hack, I am excited to announce that I received official e-mail invite from IKEA to check out the collection. Exciting! - and that's a wee-bit understatement. Can't wait to get my hands on that product. 

Side by side, another collection has been launched - INDUSTRIELL. Reading the description had me a bit confused - so it is an 'industrial process that purports to produce hand-made results' - apparently people crave 'hand-made' and thus in order to bring that 'desired hand-made' they have a machine reproduce it.

Hmmm.... oh the tale that the marketing team at IKEA weaves.....

First of all - my understanding of 'hand-made' is 'hand-made', and I am having trouble with how to jump over that hurdle in a logical fashion. My guess is that the production process is likely not perfected - they can't produce flawless 'handmade' - because 'handmade' also has a specific quality - it's not random splatter, uneven brush strokes, or mindless marks on wood - and maybe it is also due to the intrinsic nature of the materials involved. But, given time and experience that process will become perfect [or with adjustable variability of 'hand-made' - so say, you will be able to dial just how much imperfections you can get - from 0 to 100% - and I mean how do you quantify that too!].

But I think the greatest lesson from the INDUSTRIELL collection is that - the robots are coming for our jobs. Automation is here!

Cheers!

Will write  more about it as I go thinking and working about my day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

IKEA Hacker's definite guide to HACKING PAX!


[picture shows the back of a PAX wardrobe that has been glued, nailed and screwed ensuring that it will never come off - this is the BEST PAX HACK that you can do to ensure the integrity and longevity of your new closets - want to know why? IKEA backs are fairly thin - a little over 1/8" - not to mention that they are usually split into 2 pieces taped together on larger boxes. Originally, they are only nailed in - that's the trouble! Imagine that over the course of your closets lifetime - which in my opinion should be at least 20 years! - you will bump and push things against that back; you will open and close your drawers; you will slam your doors. All that motion is a 'dynamic, repetitive strain' on those backs AND it causes the nails to get loose - essentially pulling themselves out of the gables. When that happens the box loses it's rigidity - the BACKS ARE A MAJOR STRUCTURAL ELEMENT of any cabinetry! That 'flimsiness' amplifies the wear on all the components of the closet, eventually causing it to fail - your PAX ends up in the dump prematurely.

Chapter 1 - PAX Hacks and 'Peak Furnishings'.

If you have been to IKEA then like me you likely have a slight fetish for well organized and functional closets - PAX. I will not be writing about the DESIGN aspect of those closets - you know exactly what you like and how you want things to look.

The PAX system, in my opinion, is a great example of the phenomenon of 'peak furnishings' - meaning there exists a closet, which when properly designed, installed and hacked [hacked, well, because it is an IKEA product] will produce satisfactory results in 99% of the cases. AND it will last well beyond the 10 years that IKEA provides warranty for. I have been installing PAX the traditional way - free standing - or more popular, building them in, for I say 10 years, including calls to 'fix, adjust, and re-install'. And over the course of those ten years I have noticed similar challenges coming up. Two important points to remember - the PAX system is designed to be manufactured in centralized location [the efficiency reduces the cost] and then distributed; it is meant to be assembled by the end user [the actual design of the box has to be accessible to average DIY-selfer].

Why would you want to go through the process that I will outline below? I see two reasons:

A] You want to extend the life of the PAX - traditionally installed PAX [as per IKEA instructions] will last you about 10 years. Beyond that, the use of it will become cumbersome and challenging - it may start bothering you when the doors will rub against each other; the pull out drawer/tray/hanger mechanism may become annoying; shelves will sag and back may become loose OR worse come off completely; the entire box may lose its rigidity and feel 'wobbly' [that's how my customers describe the well worn out PAX box]. You may end up thinking, 'Hey! I did everything right, I followed the instructions, this is the end and I need to replace my closets.' And this point I want to stop you and say 'Wait! Before you discard that PAX, if you follow my instructions, you can breathe another 10 YEARS OF USE into that box! SAVINGS!

B] You want to build-in that box  to make it look fancy.  PAX boxes are fairly plain - they have a great selection of affordable styles of doors - both hinged and sliding - BUT that box is just SO PLAIN! As a conscious shopper, seeking good value for your hard earned dollar you want to take advantage of the affordable functionality and skip the 'custom closet route', which I assure you, is very expensive! You want to give your closets personality and flair - you want some side panels, you want some bottom trim to cover that little kick, you want a crown moulding that matches your house decor. SO, if you are going to go through all the trouble of fabricating all the custom pieces you might as well make it last. MORE - another important point to remember is the fact that when you built-in things [at least when I do] - they become PERMANENT. That is precisely the reason why I go through all hacking of the PAX that I work on - that closet is built-in and DONE. You will not be able to pull that box off the wall to fix a loose back; if that top is sagging and pulling in the doors [so they rub against each other] - there will not be an easy fix to straighten it out. The FIRST STEP in building in the PAX, is addressing all the issues/challenges that will arise during the lifespan of the closet - once those are addressed, your closet will function well YEARS beyond that 10 year mark.

Chapter 3 - Are you ready? Boring technical stuff... that you need to know.

PAX gables are super light. That is not a sign of any deficiency - opposite, that is a sign of high-end design. That vertical is a high-end sandwich - torsion box - designed to be light weight and perform as intended - the joinery on the box is strong, it will resist bending and twisting AND it will allow for great many hardware changeovers that you may desire over the lifespan of the closet. There are no benefits of using a solid core panels....unless you want you closet to be heavier.... but that never really enters into the closet equation. I've never heard anyone brag about 'how heavy their closets' are, BUT, I did hear people bragging about how functional their closets were! 

I do use non-IKEA screws in my IKEA installs all the time, but the key to remember about driving screws into IKEA panels is that they need to go into the right places. A screw driven into the portion of the panel composed of skin/honeycomb will not hold at all - that should be immediately obvious when you notice that the screw you are driving is not 'sinking' properly - the head tends to stick up above the surface OR it is simply free spinnig without 'biting' into the panel. A properly sunk screw will 'bite down hard' and pull the head just slightly below the surface - that is precisely what you want to achieve. And you know what? - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT - I never think about it but I drive my screws with a brushless, 20V DeWalt cordless impact driver on the highest speed with a precision of 'within a 1/4 turn'. I never really thought about it until I hired someone to help me out and they just BLEW THE SCREWS through the panels because they lacked what I call 'fine touch' - driving screws when you are framing 2x4's is different when you are trying to hang up a lacquered panel. 




There are two things that I want you to remember about screws:
A] use coarse thread screws
B] always pre-drill! [ALWAYS!!! and I usually set the depth about 1/4" deeper than the actual screw - NOT SHOWN ON THE PIC, I just grabbed a random screw for illustration purposes; also, do not use those 'tapering bits', that's just BS. 

I am going to take a wild guess and say that you can probably save some cash on manufacturing of screws when you make the thread of a woodworking screw shallow - MISTAKE. When you are driving screws into low density panels, such as IKEA horizontal PAX piece, you want to make sure that the thread is as COARSE as you can get. The screw pictured above is a 'bulk screw' that I buy by weight at my local lumber yard. These are not premium screws in any way - they are actually cheaper than anything that I can buy at those BIG BOX reno stores, but they are superior. The most annoying that can happen is when you drive a screw in - regardless weather is PAX or SEKTION - and it start spinning in place without grabbbing - OH IT HAPPENS!. Avoid that annoying problem by buying






Chapter 2 - The BOX


Monday, March 26, 2018

PAX Reboot - get 10 MORE YEARS out of the closet.

pssst!.... I think a PAX sale is coming up.




[picture shows IKEA's PAX wardrobe being hacked - squared and reinforced, glued in and screwed in backs - plywood cross pieces being installed]



 Chapter 1 - A GREAT CLOSET at an amazing PRICE


PAX has been around for awhile now. In fact it has been around long enough that it has gone through some major technical re-designs BUT without changing its overall appearance.

Like what you say? Well, back in the day, PAX was made the old school way, with the IKEA's custom laid-up panels [organic closets! - I used to joke around], cut up, and edged. It was easy to hack back then, because you could easily cut them up into desired dimensions, or 'split them' [I did that!] - I would take the deep PAX and cut it in half, put some custom backs on in and had a 2 sided closet.  

But that was then. Now PAX gables [the verticals] are a high end custom sandwich with cardboard core, particle core strips for strength [where required - so at 'pin locations', tops and bottoms] - you really need to understand how it is manufactured to properly 'hack it'. And I do it. 

But every now and then, I am called to a home where PAX is already installed and has been aging gracefully for 10 years or so. 10 years is that magical number when IKEA's PAX warranty expires and issues start popping up. I want to point out that wear and tear is not covered by IKEA's warranty! The client was so frustrated with her closets that she was ready to throw them out and purchase new ones! I said, 'STOP!', all they need is a little bit of TLC, some hacking, few improvements and they will be as good as new! Of course it helped that the place was going through a total reno and we were able to pull them off the wall, and break them down a bit - but they were totally re-built!

The next post was a long time coming, but I think it will be my most valuable PAX post yet. Warning, it may be long and somewhat technical but it is necessary. If you are thinking of having those PAX closets last longer than 10 years; if you are renovating or new-building and are thinking of doing away with traditional closets and just going with built-in PAX, then this is written for you. I will not be going in to the design aspect of it, simply because that could be a chapter in its own. 

Onto the NEXT POST!


Friday, February 2, 2018

Confessions of an IKEA Hacker - DELAKTIG, you had me at 'HELLO'

Prelude - this is what 'Peak Furnishings' looks like according to Karol Kosnik -



[picture shows Studio Kosnik designed IKEA Section hack - modern, geometric design that is based on the SEKTION box; Forbattra panels which complete the look, highlighted in RED; and Karlby countertop that was cut down to create 'wood voids' in the design]


Chapter 1 - You had me at HELLO

Delaktig had at me at 'hello' - it was IKEA's answer to IKEA Hacking. The story, for me, first appeared in the IKEA Catalogue - 'get involved' was a call to action - and the word 'hacking' was mentioned as an inspiration [but just once! and in italics, as if it was an 'oddity'].  It was a collaborative effort is seems, Tom Dixon's students were involved in conceptualizing 'Delaktig' - which when you use the power of the machine - aka google - translates to 'involved' from Swedish. OK.....

But there was another reason to delaktig in the utopian vision - 'peak furnishings' - a term I first read about on one of those popular websites covering 'what's fresh and hot' in design, and coined, it seems, by IKEA themselves. Certainly a collaboration between a world famous designer and IKEA - world's leader in sustainable corporate philosophy - would be something to celebrate, but what? 

Do you know what 'peak furnishings' is? Is it when you have too much stuff inside your dwelling, that you find it challenging to store it properly, let alone organize it. Is 'peak furnishings' - when you start throwing away personal things that are still useful but old, to make room for new, shinier things? I mean, that is the definition of wasteful society. 

You know, it is kind if existentialist when a company says that it has designed a product, that will outlast it - the corporate entity. This is going to be the 'heirloom piece' for IKEA. Probably the first one, with more planned. DELAKTIG, made of aluminum - the cross section of the extrusion reveals channels which greatly add to its strength AND I saw a student proposal, because it is so modular, that it become 'infinity seating', and with its commercial potential, it could, say, replace Herman Miller* brands at the airports. This modular seating, according to IKEA's intentions, would be passed along, from generation to generation; a well cherished items gifted gracefully and received with excitement. A tall order for Ikea, I say. 

I googled 'heirloom furniture' because I wanted to see what does the totality of, I think, Western human experience sees as 'heirloom' pieces. And then when looking at hundreds of images I tried to identify common elements amongst them. As you can imagine, the form was all over the place - organic shapes; rigid geometric shapes; weird shapes; some very decorative and some very austere. I am a furniture designer and a maker, I have great curiosity for the process of fabrication, and I can say with certain degree of confidence that I know how they make furniture. And, surely enough, a very strong indicator was the amount of 'hand labour' that each piece received - sometimes simplest forms require large amount of labour. People like hand-made things. Of course 'hand-made' has been spun in so many different ways to make the sale, that it is almost sickening sometimes. Our attraction to 'hand-made', in my opinion, has made it 'cheaper' in some ways, because labour in developing countries is so much less expensive, so every single manufacturer wants to move overseas. So the origin of the 'heirloom' piece is also important.** 

Another thing is that I also make heirloom pieces. I take rough beams and surface and square them. I work with precious veneers and can do marquetry. I can execute fancy dovetail joints - even though I cannot make a living doing it. I can build challenging geometric forms that require complex interior structure that is often totally NOT seen and appreciated, but required nevertheless. I do metal inlays using 'red metals' - copper, brass, aluminum. AND I even LOVE steel. 

Of course I don't build a lot of them simply for the reason that you can get a lot more achieved via an IKEA Hack as opposed to one Kosnik heirloom - because they are of comparable costs.  

And another silly observation - I am not an elitist. It is of greatest satisfaction when I can deliver designer, superior quality solutions to average ordinary people via IKEA 'peak furnishings' products - on a budget. Because, if you think about it - there can only really be one Krenov, one Wendel Castle - I am often torn between my desire to be unique, one of a kind, original - and providing real life working solutions. Maybe I think about it too much...

I once desinged a chair, and I called it 'the Lightest Chair ever'. It dates back to my college years and my obsession with 'extremes'. I designed and built a chair, which I thought would be revolutionary. It was made of 1/4" top grade Baltic Birch plywood [so a hardwood plywood; many, many layers of AA veneers] - and it weight a mere 2lbs! AND! The SEAT WAS NOT STRUCTURAL - so what happens when you design chairs, often times, the seat plays an integral part of the structure of the chair - without it it would break, collapse, seize... AND so my chair, you could have grabbed the seat, take it off and put on a....say... a cutting board and IT WOULD STILL WORK. I had that chair dynamically tested [torture, I cringed!] to 300lbs, and it was fine. 

But it was NOT a successful chair. Do you know why? BECAUSE IT WAS TOO LIGHT! People were not comfortable using it! They feared that it would break, that it would not support their weight. My arguments - look at this, I am stress torturing it - did not work at all. As if a 'hive mind' was at work - the chair was NOT accepted. 

That experience was an eye-opener. It made me realize, that as much as INNOVATION and novelty is a key component of design, there is great inertia that resists all things new in FURNITURE. YES, maybe that chair would have been adopted by some 'design radicals'; YES, maybe that chair would have been welcomed by individuals who easily afford the financial hit of breaking/destroying a 'high value design object' and having it replaced on a whim - but that is not general rule - BECAUSE RULE NO.1 is SALES. I am always reminded of de Stijl, a design movement that I am still obsessed with today, that was so rigorous, so unwilling to bend to 'real life' that it self-extinguished. Yes!, I was greatly attracted to the arbitrary rules and regulations, completely inapplicable to real life of average citizen - BUT do I want to live [continue making and designing] OR do I want to die [stubbornly pursue my rigid and rigorous vision]? Do I make obscure pieces and die like Kafka? Or will I exert greater influence on the Furniture Design field if I pursue IKEA Hacks?





To be continued....






*NO! Nothing can replace Herman Miller at the airports, as long as architects design them!
**there is a great furniture store in Toronto called, 'the modern furniture knock-off store', and all they sell off-shored replicas of Eames, Scandinavian Modern, etc. 

Confessions of an IKEA Hacker - DELAKTIG Dilemma PART 2

[...]

Friday, January 26, 2018

Confessions of an IKEA Hacker - the DELAKTIG Dillema + Ingvar's Passing

Chapter 1 - Ingvar's Passing

Yea I was going to start posting about the DELAKTIG project - but something else happened this weeked. Ingavr Kamprad died - the Great Founder. He is credited with pioneering the concept of 'flat packing' - and thus revolutionizing Furniture Design - I fictionalized that moment here, on this blog, it's at the end of the entry. Wikipiedia - to whom I donate annually, just to perpetuate that liberal, open minded bias - lists him as a 'Swedish Business Magnate' - died peacefully - and no doubt in my mind 'extremely satisfied with what he has accomplished' in his life. 

I said that I will share controversial opinions about design, starting this Design Week that happened [my second Ikea Hacker Convention* - the Practical, Artsy + MoneyMaker]  - it is all about the sales. If anyone tries to convince you that they are doing it for the art OR design, then they are lying - well, rare art/design geniuses exist, but yea, very very rare. AND you know what Ingvar did? He sold. And he sold tons and tons - IKEA today is a leading home furnishing retailer in the world. Its line-up of boxes that real people need for living is unmatched - SEKTION, PAX, Billy and BESTA** - the essential core is manufactured most efficiently - I take advantage of his philosophy every single day! 

IKEA is also is an employment leader - with unmatched loyalty - in today's world with everyone being 'replaceable' - either by outsourcing or automation or AI'ed - IKEA provides stable, predictable, meaningful employment to thousands around the world - people feel connected. Anecdotal evidence will tell you that it is a company with a GIANT heart, where employees feel valued, and money is seen just for what it is - 'money'. Ingvar once gave away all profits from a single day of sales to his employees - all 40 000. There is leading research that suggests that happy, fulfilled people live longer lives - so I think just that metric will tell you something.

I read somewhere - BBC - that he was a billionaire - but I also heard reports that his personal wealth was in the vicinity of $115 million AND he drove an old Volvo 240! Noooo! So a man who makes or influences  'billion dollar decisions', has $114 sitting in a bank or so, DRIVES an old VOLVO!? You know what that is a sign of?  That is a sign of a man who is content with whom he is - AND I think it is a great feat to be such - content with oneself. It takes great wisdom and understanding of human existence to be content with oneself - there was no need to impress others. I have to say that I find his philosophy very inspiring - I too try for optimum solutions. 

If IKEA is any indication of his principles - then it is well positioned to be unstoppable. If a corporation is to successfully exist it must not be a predator that consumes itself - many corporations today are actively shortening their existence [meaning, huge losses and liabilities in the future - oh it's coming, no doubt, the question is just who will be the first one to recognize that? huh? New York state is already said to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and then sue them for environmental damage]. It was most curious when I read - part of my doing research into the DELAKTIG - that head of Sustainability at IKEA said that we've reached 'peak home furnishings' - IKEA's strong growth, in my opinion is an indication of just that phenomenon. If you think about it - the marketing of exclusivity is a game mostly played by the very rich, who have the disposable means to do it. I think, everyone in their life has a moment when they say 'fuck it' and you just stop caring and you buy the product that is most functional for you - the super awesome IKEA price is just a sweet, sweet bonus that IKEA long time recognized to be a great advantage and now pursues it full time. At this year's show I said that 'we are making too many things; and that there are too many designers competing for too little products to design.' Maybe a better option is to start 'designing our own lives, instead of leaving it in the hands of others to design?'. Worth thinking about it. 

Oh and don't sweat it - IKEA's boxes are well made, everyone makes their boxes the same way, and if you want to add some custom pieces to those boxes or you want to make it look like a million buck$ then you need to hire me. Oh, and you HAVE to LIKE IKEA - please don't start off by saying that you hate IKEA, but you like their low price and you want to make it look like a million buck$. So what is it? - YOU LIKE or NO?




*during my first IKEA Hackers Convention I gave away a luxe hack - from my KingK + QueenT collection - it was a table top from AS-IS, clad in very fancy Italian laminate from ABET, and new from IKEA, those black table legs, 'Fancy French' ones. When I asked the woman who won, 'Hey! But how are you going to take it home?' she was surprised, but immediately replied 'I will take off the legs and fit it in my car.' There! That is what I called an 'Ingvar moment'! People don't think about it anymore. 

** I think specifically, the existence of these furniture systems is a sign of 'peak furnishings' - these are optimum solutions - they work for 99% situations - IKEA's ability to satisfy that niche shows its leadership. I love SEKTION!

Monday, January 15, 2018

U [can] 2 official INVITE VIDEO + WILLIAM bookcase reveal!

Prelude

Here is my official invite video - COME see U[can] 2 - we will learn together!



Chapter 1

Come see the William Bookase reveal [WITH pricing!] - see how affordable such projects are to the average DIY - this design can be scaled up - just imagine....a wall of FANCY looking bookcases - ON A BUDGET! 


[picture shows a picture of a hacked Billy bookcase decorated with fancy mouldings - it is called the William bookcase]


Hello Everyone who is interested in coming to PRACTICAL FRIDAY!

Practical Friday has 2 COMPONENTS:

A] 1PM - NEURODIVERSITY TALK  - Personal reflections on my professional practice - I will be speaking about the neurodiversity movement and how it will revolutionize access to workplaces for those who are NEURODIVERSE!

B] 3:30 PM - SEKTION / BESTA WORKSHOP - this is the workshop portion - I will put together a PDF document that you will be able to download and print - you can take notes right on it! Most convenient!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

U [can] 2 - Theoretical Thursday - Jan 18, 2017

Prelude


First Tip: be efficient - create public web content while answering e-mails that matter. So you know that you have to put in the effort - it's either going higher up OR you care about this project. Might as well make it count - imagine writing for a larger audience - likely a similar client will call soon and you managed to pre-emptively answer their question - ADVANTAGE YOU. Strip all the personal details, take out the sensitive numbers - anonymize it. It is now ambiguous enough to apply to anyone, convincing enough because it was a personal response, AND when the Google AI crawlers will go over it, they will sense 'good quality human content' and give it a higher rating - those things do add up, it's a global audience now - I get tons of views from RUSSIA and DOWN UNDER!

Best to check out my INSTA account - it's a nice visual and brief description of ideas that I will be focusing on during my 2 day event. 



Chapter 1 - U [can] 2 - Theoretical Thursday, Jan 18; 3pm;

 'So I want to attend Theoretical Thursday - Karol, you got the place booked till 10pm, what's happening so late?'

I have already received couple of e-mail questions asking for a clarification - what am I doing on Thursday? What?!- Controversial design opinions? 

Firstly you will see cool furniture - IKEA Hacks - something meant to be replicated or scaled up, fancy stuff too! But I will have my own designs 2 - something that was meant to go into Sheridan50, Part B, which never happened because of the college faculty strike. 

BUT what an excellent question!

Theoretical Thursday [entire day; I only provided the 'talk' as an 'anchor point' for scheduling purposes, I don't really know how big this is going to get; I'm keeping the place open till 10pm] is meant to be an informal, non-structured discussion on how to succeed in the field of Design - be it as a designer, a designer-maker or a tradesperson who will work with designers - mostly what I would consider 'independent contractors'', 'small scale, butique design firms', 'niche markets' - as that seems to be the shift that is taking place in the demographic - employers often talk about 'flexibility'- 10 years ago my great marketing prof called it 'blue-ocean, red ocean theory'. 

I will share tips, techniques and methods that have helped me to reach the place where I am at now - I am very selective about my projects [don't cast your net too wide -  be wise with your available resources; pick projects that you know you will be most successful with; pursue your passions]; better wages [that's the trend....]; fulfilling my dream of an academic career - perhaps unorthodox, indirect route [yea! I'd love to go out there study full time - but I can't - job, family, bills; real life vs. 'insta life'; creating work that is shared, appreciated and has helped a very large number of people to achieve success on their own scale [that's part of the 'sharing economy'!]; being an arteest [spelling intentional] - I think my work has some artistic merit, but calling oneself 'an artist' is a very bold statement to make, not there yet [you guys will know that I scored that 'meellion dollar deal' when I start calling myself an 'artist']

I hope to draw students and recent grads in - academic world is very much the iGeneration - I am the star - but once you leave that bubble, it's harsh outside. That's why I think it will be important for them to identify their strengths early on - things they like doing, things that they can excel at, things they won't mind spending long and long hours on but it will not feel like work - and be paid good money for it. We are no longer an economy where a prepared 'portfolio of work' - which is often very self-centered - serves as a ticket to landing a great career [vs. a job; nothing wrong with having 'just a job']. I will talk about 'non-orthodox' opportunities - kind of like 'hacking for a job' - recognize great openings and take advantage!

This one is a BIGGIE - learn how to identify socio-economic trends which in turn will shape direction of your own design work; impact the structure of your design work AND make decisions that will steer your creative work towards greater success. Depending on the audience requests, I will get as large or as granular as they want. I read and study in great detail all sorts of retail, sales data for 'designer objects' - everything from cars, houses, clothing, even pop-culture and politics, what I call 'the commercial, consumable culture'- those are the 'tea-leaves' that I read. I personally have what I call a '10 year creative event horizon' - so for example I already know what show I will do next year; what show I will do in 3 years; and what creative stunt I will pull in 5 years. I will encourage people to develop their own 'creative event horizons' - maybe 10 years is long, but you sure got to have a 5-year plan!

And remember, Social Media is the Great Equalizer, and you should leverage it to your best advantage.


See you on Thursday, Jan 18?