John Maeda’s Design Life in Five Photos

John Maeda’s Design Life in Five Photos
Allison Mooney
  • 12 january 2009

John Maeda wears a lot of hats: graphic designer, computer scientist, mathematician, sneaker designer, university professor, author, and now President of Rhode Island School of Design. His work on the intersection of technology and design landed him on Esquire‘s list of the 21 most important people in the 21st century. In this episode of Dezeen Magazine’s Design Miami Chat Shows, the endlessly-interesting Maeda presents his “design life in five photos.”

Here’s the recap:

Taken when he curated Ars Electronica in Austria. He was walking along the water and saw this lone blooming bush and wondered why. “I think a lot of what I do is just wonder ‘why?'” Our society is so exact, he says, he’s curious about the “roughness of life.”

His dirty teacup. After reading the tea leaves, it told him to “look for circles.” He now has a collection of photos picturing circles of liquid. Maeda loves looking for patterns in everything.

That was in Italy; he went to get coffee in Milan with his daughters. Demonstrated how regular (non-designer) people can also create beautiful things.

His avatar in Second Life, where he bought an island for $2,000. He didn’t have any time to spend there, though, and gave it away. In the end, it reaffirmed his love of the “real world.”

A piece he made for a charity auction at Colette in Paris. He made it on a day that someone was yelling at him.  “The only way to survive difficulty is by having a thicker skin,” he said. This is his riff on that idea– thicker skins written 75 times.

[via Today and Tomorrow]


Concept Artists And Scientists Form Partnership To Visualize The Future

Automotive Today

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Op-Ed Today

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Related Expert

Xioachang Li

Cultural Theorist and Researcher

Retail Today

Snapchat Reveals A Striking Pair Of Video-Recording Sunglasses

Spectacles make memories from your perspective and transfer them to the app

Fashion Today

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Today

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 26, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Today

Uber Could Be Bringing Vertical Takeoff Transport To Your City

The ridesharing app is looking into the development of nimble aircraft for urban environments

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Yesterday

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap

Social Media Yesterday

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Yesterday

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Yesterday

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

No search results found.