Ken Carbone On Analog Fuel In Digital Times

Ken Carbone On Analog Fuel In Digital Times
Design & Architecture
Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 11 november 2008

At the Future Trends conference in Miami this year, Ken Carbone of the Carbone Smolan Agency gave a fascinating talk about how he finds inspiration in an increasingly digital world. He showed the scrap books he uses to journal his life. As he ends each book, he actually paints them (you can see an example in the blurred photo) before he starts another. He told the audience:

“As designers we are placed in this enviable orbit around life. There’s a huge world out there to learn from beyond design. Life is a feast for the senses. The digital world offers extraordinary access however it is somewhat limited into feeding a couple of our senses We need to create a healthy balance between high touch and high tech.

My epiphany was when I saw Paul Gaugin’s personal journal in the Louvre. It was like a blog – notes, drawings – a private work, not for public view. It inspired me to keep a journal, my Soulbook. There’s a sorrow from leaving one book and starting a new one. These journals are a chronicle of life and times.”

He suggested a number o reading books – The World Without Us, The History of Beauty, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Interpreter of Maladies, A Fine Disregard, Ocean Flowers, Shape of a Pocket – and also a DVD from Andy Goldsworthy called Rivers & Tides.

If you get the chance to hear Ken speak – make sure you go. We recommend it.

Thanks for the great lecture, Ken.


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