Work / Life / Balance

The folks at M/I/S/C Magazine, put out by Idea Couture, were kind enough to do an interview with me about my work, and in particular how I do it, to feature in the Winter 2014 issue of the magazine focused on the theme of "Balance". Robert Bolton and I discussed how the work of collecting signals in the environment and synthesizing them into something legible and functional has changed, due to technology, changes in culture, and—most critically for me—the kind of distributed cognition afforded by a post-geographic work pattern. Below is a short excerpt about this phenomenon, as it affects my (loose) approach.  Oh, and gin and tonics get yet another shout out. 

M/I/S/C: How do you interact and collaborate with your peers?

SS: This ongoing asynchronous conversation happens. Someone throws out an idea, someone else picks it up, iterates on it, attaches a link to an article. You kind of get these rolling tumbleweeds of thought. People change the plot in a constantly group-written script. We tend to be distributed geographically; few, if any of us, work in an office with other people, so these relationships start remotely and then gel into three or five people sitting around a table in a pub or on someone’s living room floor having face-to-face conversations. We break apart again, then we come back together for ad hoc conferences or panels. It expands and contracts. It’s an unusual phenomenon. This rolling iteration is almost like a design process; somebody creates a conceptual sketch, someone else tweaks it, people discuss it. And it’s drawing in people who are researchers, writers, creatives, scientists, academics, people in advertising; a really strange mix of people.

M/I/S/C is a great read and is available on newsstands in major cities. I encourage you to grab a copy for some great pieces on foresight, innovation design and culture.