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Meeting Santiago Calatrava

Inspirations are an interesting thing because they so often have nothing to do with our chosen profession. For me I have quite a few but the two men who consistent top the list are chef Ferran Adria and architect Santiago Calatrava.

Ferran Andria is one of the most controversial chefs in the world as his food questions the very nature of a meal. Recipes are created by a combination of chefs, scientists, industrial designers and art directors in a place called ‘el Tiere’. His restaurant El Bulli in Spain has 3 Michelin stars and is regarded as the best restaurant in the Western world. I highly recommend watching Decoding Ferran Adria hosted by Anthony Bourdain which is the best look in Ferran’s work and world.

My favorite architect is another Spaniard, Santiago Calatrava. His clean and modern designs have inspired and fascinated me for years and I had the chance to meet him Monday night at a book signing at the Taschen store in SoHo.

I have been lucky enough to meet a lot of the people who inspire me and I find these meetings to be an interesting interaction because what is it we hope to get out of these meetings? I am very rarely able to have a lengthy or meaningful conversation but I continue to be drawn to these meetings. I have come to the conclusion that I go because I am trying to close the gap between the work and person to understand their process and how they use it to summon such great creativity. I am also looking for how that creativity and unique approach can translate into my own work. I think that this is especially true in the case of Ferran Adria where I have never tasked his cooking or met him in person but find his process and approach riveting. I have tried to blend my style with the spirit and open creative approach o the Tiere in my own studio in the hopes of similar results. In Calatrava I draw inspiration from a comparison between architecture and web design. In both there is a need to create something large and functional but it can be beautiful and standout from the crowd in a bold and striking fashion.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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