Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

Quote of the day: J Mays on life experience informing design

“A designer is only as good as what he or she knows. If all you know is what you’ve garnered from fifteen years of living in Detroit, it’s going to limit what you can lay down. If you’ve had experiences around the world, you’ll be able to design a much richer story for people to enjoy.”

J Mays, Global Vice President of Design, Ford Motor Company

Just read this in an Esquire interview with J Mays and what he has to say adds to some of the points I was making in my recent interview with Raph Goldsworthy over at Design Droplets.

There’s a whole lot more in the interview that chimes with me too, especially J’s thoughts on simplicity, building stories and the cars of the 50s.

Short but wonderfully sweet, it’s well worth a couple of minutes of your time.

P. S. What better image to represent J’s globetrotting ways than his (and Martin Smith’s) seminal Avus, somewhat out of context with some serious looking travellers in marle catsuits. Hawt.

[Source: Esquire Image: Audi Press]

Category: Design Strategy

Tagged: , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. Fletch says:

    I completely agree with this statement, and think it can be generalised to most areas of creative pursuit with two qualifications:

    1. it’s not just about what someone knows, but also their level of awareness of what they do not know which influences appetite for new experiences and creative output

    2. it’s not just about racking up experiences in lots of different places, but also the richness of experience had in any one locale. Many expats living abroad have a no richer experience living abroad than at home, spending all their time with other expats and seeking out the familiar.

Leave a Reply


© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.