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OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

SPONSORED BY DROPBOX<br />

Going higher<br />

with Sasha<br />

DiGiulian<br />

Create.<br />

Innovate.<br />

Collaborate.<br />

Lessons from Leaders<br />

Spinning with<br />

Jersey Girl UNIIQU3<br />

How collaboration<br />

is the 4-star key for<br />

Chef Eric Ripert<br />

Daniel Pink tells us<br />

why “when” matters<br />

Teen Girls and Tech:<br />

Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon<br />

connects the dots


18TOXE<br />

CONTENTS<br />

What’s<br />

PLAYING CATCH-UP<br />

Declining meetings, talking hoops, taking it<br />

to the streets and Oscar on a budget. Did<br />

you miss anything?<br />

TICK TOCK<br />

Timing is everything in comedy...and Daniel<br />

Pink's latest best-seller<br />

AFTER THE YELLING<br />

Chef Eric Ripert stopped yelling - and that's<br />

when things got interesting<br />

THE GODFATHER<br />

When Michael Bierut talks... well you get<br />

the picture (he talked, we listened).<br />

BY WAY OF JERSEY<br />

Jersey girl UNIIQU3 takes her music and<br />

style around the world. And the world likes<br />

it<br />

BREAKING BIG<br />

An exciting new voice on the club scene,<br />

Swedish DJ/Producer TOXE is breaking out.<br />

CAN'T KEEP HER DOWN<br />

Sasha DiGiulian keeps going higher and<br />

higher, no matter what gets in her way.<br />

SHATTERING THE CEILING<br />

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon’s is giving girls a big<br />

hammer and helping them swing away.<br />

02 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


14<br />

MICHAEL<br />

BIERUT<br />

10<br />

GOING HIGHER<br />

WITH SASHA<br />

DIGIULIAN<br />

17<br />

UNIIQU3<br />

DAN PINK<br />

06<br />

DR.<br />

ANNE-MARIE<br />

IMAFIDEL<br />

12<br />

CHEF<br />

ERIC RIPERT<br />

08<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

03


THE LEAD<br />

Lead<br />

The<br />

So you wanna make a ______.<br />

A hit song, a documentary movie, a new app, a goal line stand,<br />

life-changing medical discovery, a victory lap at Daytona, an<br />

updated logo, a dance routine... you go ahead and name it, and<br />

chances are whatever fills that blank for you, the role<br />

collaboration plays will be an essential one.<br />

Collaboration is the fuel for creativity and innovation. It's about<br />

creating something...whether substantive and lasting or<br />

ephemeral and fleeting. Collaborating, creating, innovating is an<br />

ever-present thread in all of our lives.<br />

With that, in this issue we're delighted to present innovators<br />

from a broad range of sectors, with a focus on the intersection<br />

between collaboration, creativity and personal expression.<br />

"Entrepreneurship is about creating new things and making them<br />

happen", said one of our leaders, Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon, and<br />

making things happen is what she's doing.<br />

As are Sasha Digiulian (innovation thousands of feet up a rock<br />

wall), Michael Beirut (the design master), UNIIQU3 (powering<br />

parties around the world), Chef Eric Ripert (perfecting flow in the<br />

culinary world), Toxe (creating edgy beats) and Daniel Pink<br />

(corralling the relentless flow of time).<br />

The way we collaborate is constantly evolving, racing forward,<br />

eliminating the need for physical presence, but connectivity<br />

remains as important as ever to the flow of the creative process.<br />

Whatever your passion, this group will inspire you to connect,<br />

create, innovate and produce.<br />

A victory-lap at Daytona?<br />

Collaboration is the fuel.<br />

Credit: Getty Images<br />

04 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


in case you<br />

missed it ...<br />

WALKING THE TIGHTROPE<br />

FIVE ON FIVE<br />

There’s a steady stream of engaging<br />

content flowing on the <strong>Dropbox</strong> Blog,<br />

from compelling interviews to daily<br />

optimization tips, to thought provoking<br />

pieces on globally relevant topics.<br />

In case you missed it, here are five<br />

blog posts we particularly enjoyed.<br />

“I think I can be a great mom and a great CEO, just not at the<br />

same time…That’s just the superwoman myth… if we try to<br />

follow (that), we’re going to burn ourselves out.”<br />

Moms and daughters come together in a super-cool event,<br />

Daughters of the Evolution, to share stories and discuss<br />

how they approach the challenge of "work-life" balance.<br />

Read more: Top tech women and their daughters discuss<br />

balancing family and success »<br />

“Something I think creatives do best is how we tackle<br />

problems.”<br />

Combine innovative artists, activism, a space, the tools and<br />

nine-hours...what do you get. Jessica English takes us from<br />

start to finish.<br />

Read more: Going behind the collaborative process: 3 murals<br />

come to life at SXSW in Austin, Texas »<br />

“We went through this together, and now, I can trust you with<br />

anything because we journeyed and grew together as partners.”<br />

LESS IS MORE?<br />

James Laxton, the cinematographer from Moonlight, last<br />

year’s Best Picture winner talks to Alice Tynan about<br />

winning, creativity and the benefit of low-budgets.<br />

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human<br />

race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential,<br />

that word would be meetings.” - Dave Barry<br />

Picking up on a Salon.com study in which 47% of<br />

respondents highlighted too many meetings as their<br />

biggest time suck at work, Sage Cohen went about testing<br />

the theory - by declining every meeting request for an<br />

entire week. How did it turn out?<br />

Read more: Think More and Embrace Mistakes »<br />

Read more: 8 gains from a week without meetings »<br />

“One of my favorite things about my job is I have new things to<br />

work on every day.”<br />

A few weeks before the Golden State Warriors and their fans<br />

celebrated their third NBA Championship in four years, Ben<br />

Taylor caught up with Warriors' assistant general manager<br />

Kirk Lacob for a look behind the scenes of one of sport's<br />

most successful organizations.<br />

Read more: The Team Behind the Team »<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

05


BEST SELLERS<br />

Daniel Pink<br />

Time is on my side...<br />

As performed by Mick Jagger<br />

of the Rolling Stones yes it is.<br />

Well Mick, that really all depends.<br />

Turns out, the timing of virtually<br />

everything can be either on your side, or<br />

working against you.<br />

Whether it’s booking a doctor’s<br />

appointment, writing a blog piece,<br />

working out, taking the SATs, asking<br />

for a raise or scheduling a meeting -<br />

the “when” needs to be considered<br />

when planning the “what”.<br />

How do I know this? Because<br />

Daniel Pink told me. Read his new<br />

book “When: The Scientific Secrets of<br />

Perfect Timing” and get ready.<br />

You know those books that have<br />

great advice on every page, but<br />

somehow never get applied in your<br />

everyday life? This isn’t one of them.<br />

Apply you will. Don’t let the ton of<br />

deeply researched material scare you<br />

off, because in this case “deeply<br />

researched” doesn’t mean boring.<br />

The Daniel Pink magic that made his<br />

previous best-sellers so approachable<br />

and provocative is ever-present here.<br />

We caught up with Daniel to ask a few<br />

questions about the When of timing<br />

and why we should care.<br />

06 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


DAY-TO-DAY WHEN<br />

Q: About 30 pages into When, a mounting sense<br />

of lost opportunity waved over me as I realized<br />

I've been doing it wrong all these years (damn<br />

you, late afternoon meetings with Finance!).<br />

This may well be one of the best books on<br />

optimization I've read in years (and I've read a<br />

lot of them). There are practical, executable<br />

tips throughout.<br />

With that in mind, how has your work routine<br />

changed post-research compared to<br />

pre-research for the book, if at all?<br />

Daniel: It’s changed may own routines in several<br />

ways. Let me offer two.<br />

First, once I began understanding the research<br />

on peaks, troughs, and recoveries, I reorganized<br />

my day. Since I’m a more of a lark than an owl,<br />

my peak is the morning. That’s when I’m best<br />

doing analytic work - like conjuring words and<br />

trying to make them march in formation. So<br />

early in the writing of the book, I took a new<br />

approach. Every morning, I came into my office<br />

- the garage behind my house - around 830. I<br />

gave myself a word count - usually around 700<br />

or 800 words. And I didn't do anything else until<br />

I wrote the required number of words. No<br />

checking email. No watching sports highlights.<br />

Nothing. I didn’t even bring my phone into the<br />

office. By doing that every day - 700 words<br />

today, 800 words the next<br />

day, another 800 the day after<br />

that - the pages begin piling<br />

up. And, believe it or not, this<br />

book on timing was the first<br />

book I ever delivered on time!<br />

Second, I’ve become more<br />

systematic about taking<br />

breaks. Each day, on my list of<br />

ngs to do, I try to schedule at<br />

least one afternoon break. And<br />

those breaks almost always<br />

abide by the design principles<br />

that science tells us make<br />

breaks most effective -<br />

moving, outside, social, and<br />

fully detached. So in the<br />

afternoon, you might see me<br />

walking around my neighborhood - often with<br />

my wife, but never with my phone. I used to<br />

think that amateurs take breaks and<br />

professionals don’t. Now I understand that the<br />

truth is the opposite: Professionals take breaks.<br />

It’s the amateurs who ignore breaks.<br />

COLLABORATION WHEN<br />

Q: Daniel, as I mentioned, this book has<br />

optimization tips throughout. If you and I had<br />

the opportunity to walk the National Mall for<br />

30 minutes chatting about When and its<br />

relationship to the collaborative process,<br />

what's one actionable tip I would take away?<br />

Daniel: I’d ask us to spend 15 of those minutes<br />

talking not about how to collaborate more<br />

effectively and instead talking about why we’re<br />

collaborating in the first place. What are we<br />

trying to accomplish? Why are we doing this in<br />

the first place? What’s the point of the exercise?<br />

Then I’d schedule a separate time for a<br />

pre-mortem. In this technique, created by<br />

psychologist Gary Klein, we look out, say, one<br />

year from now and imagine that our shared<br />

project is a bust. Then we try to figure out what<br />

went wrong. And then, returning to the present<br />

day, we set up ways to avoid those pitfalls. I’d<br />

much rather make mistakes in my head in<br />

advance than in real time on a real project.<br />

SINGING WHEN<br />

Q: When has received a lot of press and reviews<br />

since it came out and landed on the best-seller<br />

list. Is there anything in the book that you<br />

thought would receive more attention, but<br />

hasn’t?<br />

Daniel: I thought the material on choral singing<br />

- the fact that it’s basically as good for us as<br />

physical exercise - would have gotten more<br />

attention. That said, there’s still, er, time!<br />

Looking for more from Daniel? Check out his<br />

fantastic Ted Talk on motivation below or visit<br />

DanPink.com to connect with him on social media<br />

and read more about When and his five other books,<br />

including other New York Times bestsellers A Whole<br />

New Mind, Drive and To Sell is Human.<br />

The Puzzle<br />

of Motivation<br />

Dan Pink<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

07


COLLABORATE<br />

in the kitchen<br />

Collaboration<br />

&<br />

Q A<br />

with Chef Eric Ripert<br />

My Dad held up his glass to mine and proclaimed<br />

“to easily one of the best meals I’ve ever had”.<br />

~~~~~~~~~<br />

Perhaps predictable when dining at Le Bernardin, the revered<br />

Michelin three-star restaurant in New York, but to this day that<br />

experience (a treat from my Dad on our first trip to New York back<br />

in 2<strong>01</strong>4) stands out as a truly memorable culinary event for both<br />

of us.<br />

The evening was a study in collaboration and creativity.<br />

From the first step in the door the team produced a<br />

seamless flow of exceptional hospitality, ambience,<br />

service and food.<br />

As the chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, Eric Ripert’s<br />

part in this orchestra of teamwork is not insignificant.<br />

We caught up with Chef Ripert to talk creativity,<br />

collaboration and a surprising new option that<br />

needed both to make the menu.<br />

Q: Chef Ripert, can you talk the collaborative<br />

process at Le Bernardin? And the evolution, if<br />

any, in how you approach collaborating today<br />

vs. when you first began your career?<br />

Chef: Teamwork at Le Bernardin is everything.<br />

Whether creatively collaborating on a new<br />

dish or ensuring an evening in the dining<br />

room runs smoothly, our employees are our<br />

family and must all work together with<br />

respect and harmony. We have an<br />

unbelievably loyal team - many of the<br />

members have been with us for more than<br />

20 years! We have a warm relationship and<br />

overwhelming dedication that makes it<br />

easy for them to understand and share our<br />

vision with every guest who joins us at Le<br />

Bernardin.<br />

08 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


Previously, I used to be a very authoritative<br />

chef. I would yell at my cooks and had very<br />

little tolerance and patience. It was the style<br />

of management that I learned from other<br />

chefs during my early years of training.<br />

Around 2000, I started to contemplate the<br />

kitchen’s atmosphere; we were losing a lot<br />

of employees and I was confused. I decide to<br />

re-evaluate the way I manage people<br />

and I realized something in<br />

myself - I couldn’t be<br />

happy if I was<br />

angry; those emotions<br />

can’t coexist. Now, we<br />

don’t yell at Le Bernardin,<br />

there is no drama. Today<br />

we have arrived at a certain<br />

level of management where<br />

the team is happy to work<br />

together, and even during<br />

our busiest times, we have<br />

a peaceful environment.<br />

Q: Le Bernardin recently<br />

introduced a vegetarian<br />

tasting menu option. Can<br />

you take us through the<br />

creative process you and your team went through as<br />

you designed this new option.<br />

Chef: In January of 2<strong>01</strong>8, for the first time ever, Le<br />

Bernardin created a Vegetarian Tasting Menu. The goal<br />

of this menu is to highlight vegetables in the same<br />

focused and dedica ted way that we’ve always treated<br />

fish – to simply elevate the quality and freshness of<br />

each ingredient. The creative process is not something<br />

you can control and you never know when inspiration<br />

will hit.<br />

To develop this menu, as with any of our other dishes,<br />

we rely on teamwork and collaboration. What I ask my<br />

sous chefs, and also impose on myself, is to take notes<br />

whenever they have an idea. I write it down on<br />

whatever piece of paper I have nearby. Eventually, I<br />

bring all of the papers together; I carve out a spot<br />

conducive to creativity – calm, quiet, clutter-free.<br />

Sometimes, an idea sounds really good and we’re<br />

excited to pursue it, but when we try it, we realize it’s<br />

not at all what we expected. We don’t rush ourselves.<br />

We work on new dishes and sometimes we get lucky<br />

and it only takes us a few days to master them, and<br />

other times it takes months.<br />

A best-selling author, TV host and regular guest on a variety<br />

of food-focused programs, Eric Ripert has built a reputation<br />

as one of the world’s preeminent chefs. His flagship<br />

restaurant, Le Bernardin is consistently ranked amongst the<br />

best dining establishments in the world.<br />

Keep up with Eric on Twitter (Eric Ripert) and Le Bernardin<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

09


CREATE<br />

Sasha DiGiulian talks<br />

in climbing<br />

As she summits a towering 2,300-foot granite dome<br />

in Madagascar, Sasha DiGiulian books another in a<br />

list of impressive “firsts”, this one the first<br />

female ascent of Mora Mora, ranked as one of<br />

the most difficult climbing routes in the world.<br />

I knew who Sarah was before Mora Mora, but<br />

reading about that climb dialed me in. I had<br />

a chance to connect with this top<br />

American climber to talk collaboration,<br />

creativity and inspiration.<br />

10 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


Q: Sasha, what does collaboration look like when<br />

prepping for a climb? And what does it look like when<br />

you're on the climb?<br />

Sasha: While climbing is an intrinsically individual<br />

sport, more often than not it is not possible without<br />

a climbing partner. I have a really special<br />

relationship with each climbing partner that I<br />

have because there is a lot of trust built into<br />

this dynamic.<br />

Currently, my climbing partner (Edu<br />

Marin) and I are prepping for a<br />

two-month long trip in the Canadian<br />

Rockies around the Banff region. We<br />

have three big walls of the most<br />

challenging technical faces that we<br />

want to complete, each in one day. In<br />

order to prepare for this project we have<br />

been mapping out the gear that we<br />

need; from ropes, to trad and sport<br />

gear, to the on-the-wall sleeping<br />

gear, etc.<br />

Q: What role does creativity play<br />

when you're on a climb?<br />

Watch Sasha completing the first female ascent of<br />

American Hustle in Oliana, Spain<br />

A Columbia University grad, when Sasha’s not ascending a<br />

grade 9a, 5.14d (as the first North American woman to climb<br />

what is recognized as one of the hardest sport climbs<br />

achieved by a female), she gives her time to organizations<br />

that inspire the pursuit and access to sports, and female<br />

empowerment. She is on the Board of the Women's Sports<br />

Foundation and serves as a Global Athlete Ambassador for<br />

Right to Play, Up2Us Sports, and the American Alpine Club.<br />

Check out what’s she up to today - Sasha D iGiulian<br />

Sasha: Climbing is all about solving a<br />

gigantic jigsaw puzzle; putting<br />

individual pieces of the puzzle together<br />

in order to “send” or “summit” the<br />

climb. The creative process mainly<br />

happens during the climb - there is an<br />

element of visualization and<br />

thoughtfulness that happens beforehand<br />

but a lot of the creativity is packaged<br />

within the flow experience of climbing.<br />

Q: What inspired you to start climbing and<br />

what's inspired you to keep climbing?<br />

Sasha: I started climbing when I saw six; I<br />

loved the fact that I was in control of how I<br />

moved up the wall.<br />

Climbing is this input-output formula; what you<br />

put into it is what you get out of it. This varies at<br />

times - the effort that I put towards training,<br />

exploration, and big projects, but what has<br />

remained constant is my passion for it. I love how<br />

climbing has taken me around the world, given me a<br />

lens to experience remote corners and interact with<br />

different cultures.<br />

I love the process of not knowing I am capable of doing<br />

something, physically, then revealing to myself what I<br />

am capable of when I figure out the mental side. There<br />

are many aspects of climbing that I love; the sheer<br />

physical experience, the mental puzzle-solving, and<br />

the community.<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

11


INNOVATE<br />

in social enterprise<br />

Three numbers that help paint the picture of Dr Anne-Marie<br />

Imafidon’s journey thus far. You don’t have to talk very long with<br />

anyone who knows Anne-Marie before you’re very likely to hear the<br />

terms inspirational, tireless, ambitious and prodigy.<br />

3 of 70. The number of girls in Anne-Marie’s class at university.<br />

20. Anne-Marie’s age when she graduated from Oxford University<br />

with a Master’s in Computer Science.<br />

38,500. The number of young women who have been<br />

inspired into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math<br />

careers through the STEMettes program co-founded by<br />

Anne-Marie.<br />

Anne-Marie envisions a science and tech<br />

community where women are equal<br />

contributors at every level, from the<br />

engineering department to being<br />

founders and funders...and every day<br />

she focuses on making this a reality.<br />

We caught up with her to talk<br />

STEMettes, soft skills and 2028<br />

~~~~~~<br />

Q: Anne-Marie, when working<br />

with young women interested in<br />

STEM and entrepreneurship, obviously<br />

there's a healthy focus on core skills, but<br />

can you talk a bit about the conversations<br />

you're having around creativity and STEM?<br />

Anne-Marie: The conversations are intertwined. To be great in<br />

STEM you need to be in tune with the arts. We talk about the fact<br />

that you are more likely to win a Nobel Prize in Science if you’ve<br />

engaged with the creative arts as part of your upbringing. If you are<br />

able to explore that creative side it makes you a better scientist and<br />

a better technologist.<br />

STEM is creative. It is about problem-solving. Entrepreneurship is<br />

about creating new things and making them happen, so there is a lot<br />

of talk about that and how you use creative skills to then make that a<br />

12 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


a reality if you had the idea.<br />

For us, we find it liberating to allow the girls to explore<br />

when we give them tasks, it’s always done to a theme,<br />

so that is how we explore with young women, even if<br />

they are not interested in STEM.<br />

Q: We're currently seeing an explosion in the ability<br />

for people to collaborate. This is due to many factors,<br />

but amongst them is a new generation mobile<br />

devices, apps, cloud-based applications, and the<br />

increasing availability of inexpensive internet access.<br />

As someone who is focused on ensuring females will<br />

be at the forefront of tech's evolution, how do you see<br />

this trend impacting the young women you work with?<br />

Anne-Marie: In terms of the increase in being able to<br />

collaborate across different places, what we are seeing<br />

is that it is allowing people from different places to<br />

work together.<br />

But also for the young women, it’s<br />

meaning that when they start<br />

working there is going to be a<br />

better environment, an<br />

environment that’s more likely<br />

to be empowering for them<br />

and allow them to flourish.<br />

Because it’s using more of<br />

an altruistic, more<br />

collaborative side to get<br />

things done in a way that<br />

allows them to be more<br />

successful than people that<br />

do not take advantage of that<br />

collaboration - of that<br />

teamwork - and of using those<br />

devices and of that community<br />

building effectively to make<br />

things happen, to make change<br />

and to grow whatever it is that<br />

they are doing or building.<br />

You are seeing this a lot with this generation. Young<br />

women are doing very well in a space that is<br />

completely new where you are seeing that less from the<br />

kind of traditional groups who are used to hierarchies<br />

and closed types of working.<br />

Q: Anne-Marie, for 14 and 15-year old STEMettes,<br />

what does the tech sector look like for them in 2028?<br />

Anne-Marie: My hope is that by 2028 those 14 and<br />

15-year-olds will have more routes than ever, not only<br />

to access tech, but to be drivers and creators in tech.<br />

Also, there will have been a whole generation of digital<br />

natives and they will be able to think through and even<br />

anticipate more of the unintended consequences of our<br />

relationships with tech than the current generations<br />

have been able to.<br />

There is a lot of chat about ethics, there is a lot of chat<br />

about how the workplace is changing and I think by<br />

then we are looking at more home and life and how we<br />

interact with each other.<br />

So thinking about 14 and 15-year-olds it won’t be<br />

purely about profit.<br />

It’s not that money will ever stop talking, but there will<br />

be other facets alongside money that talk, which<br />

means if we’re discussing privacy, security and<br />

well-being, all of that will be baked into either<br />

technologies that are taking off, or companies that are<br />

doing well.<br />

As referenced above, Anne-Marie is one Oxford University’s<br />

youngest graduates. After a career in finance she turned her<br />

attention full-time to the STEMettes, a lauded and<br />

award-winning social enterprise. You can keep up with<br />

Anne-Marie on Twitter and the STEMettes website.<br />

Anne-Marie Imafidon,<br />

founder and CEO of<br />

STEMettes.org, speaking at<br />

the CYBERUK 2<strong>01</strong>8 security<br />

conference in Manchester,<br />

England.<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

13


CREATE<br />

Creativity<br />

with<br />

Michael Bierut<br />

I’m sitting on a park bench on an<br />

unseasonably warm fall afternoon,<br />

with a book and an iced coffee.<br />

The park? Central, around 68th on<br />

the upper west side. The book? How<br />

to use graphic design to sell things,<br />

explain things, make things look better,<br />

make people laugh, make people cry<br />

and (every one in a while) change the<br />

world... by Michael Bierut. The<br />

coffee? Hazelnut, from Sensuous<br />

Bean on 70th.<br />

~~~~~~<br />

in design<br />

The symmetry of reading a Michael<br />

Bierut book in New York City was not<br />

lost on me. Well beyond their<br />

physical address, Michael, and<br />

Pentagram, the design studio he’s<br />

called home for close to 30 years, are<br />

part of the city’s esthetic, flow and<br />

story.<br />

From guiding pedestrians via the<br />

expansive wayfinding system,<br />

signage and graphics for the New<br />

York Times headquarters, Saks Fifth<br />

Avenue bags, the Penn Station<br />

Concourse graphics, the New York<br />

Botanical Gardens logo, working with<br />

the New York Jets and more – a walk<br />

in the city is, in many ways, a walk<br />

with an iconic studio and a graphic<br />

design legend.<br />

We didn’t have a chance to go for a<br />

walk, but we did connect with<br />

Michael to talk design.<br />

14 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


Q: Michael, what's the collaborative process for you and<br />

your team when you start working on a new project?<br />

Michael: Every partner at Pentagram manages their own<br />

small team, and I’ve noticed that every team approaches<br />

collaboration a little differently. When I get a new<br />

assignment, I usually bring in one of my designers to work<br />

with me on it. That designer will take the lead on the<br />

project management and ultimately has the responsibility<br />

to see that it’s going to be done right.<br />

Sometimes a project is complex and will require a bigger<br />

team. For instance, if a project combines identity and<br />

environmental graphics, I might bring in two designers,<br />

one for each area. Other times one designer takes a lead<br />

and others are pulled in, often to provide specialized<br />

assistance for a specific part of the job. Because we all work<br />

together in a big open plan office, people are making<br />

connections informally on a continuous basis.<br />

Q: To follow up on that, can you provide an example of an<br />

ideal collaborative experience with a client?<br />

Michael: Having a client participate in the creative process<br />

is a way to increase the chances that they’ll understand,<br />

and fully commit to, the final recommendation. Because so<br />

much work depends on the quality of its ongoing<br />

implementation - work that is often done in house, or by<br />

other agencies - we invest a lot of time in making sure the<br />

client sees the solution as something they can take full<br />

possession of. That said, our clients seldom expect to be<br />

“co-designing” with us: they come to Pentagram because<br />

they respect our expertise and look to us for leadership.<br />

In my experience the key is to avoid “presentation mode”<br />

- those sessions when salesmanship overtakes empathy -<br />

and keep actively listening through the whole process.<br />

Q: How has your creative process evolved over the years<br />

when working on identity design projects?<br />

Michael: Although the technological context of brand<br />

identity has changed radically in every possible way since I<br />

began in 1980, I honestly can’t say my creative process has<br />

changed that much. I think as I’ve gotten more mature,<br />

I’ve come to realize that clever solutions sometimes work<br />

beautifully at the moment of launch but don't stand up to<br />

the test of time. Simple ideas tend to endure, and it takes<br />

restraint and even humility to stay simple.<br />

Q: From what I can remember, 20 years ago, when an<br />

established company changed their logo, it barely<br />

registered outside the design community. Not so today.<br />

What's changed? Is it a function of social media?<br />

Michael: It may not be only social media, but it is<br />

technology. Logos are no longer just things that people<br />

encounter (and usually pay no attention to) on the sides of<br />

trucks or the ends of commercials. Instead, they’re icons<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

15


Watch as Michael Bierut and Joe Poesner explain how a simple mark ends up<br />

meaning something big as a great logo.<br />

that they press their fingers on dozens a time a day<br />

(or an hour).<br />

After decades of brands hoping that consumers will<br />

adopt them as badges of personal identification, that<br />

dream is coming true to a somewhat scary degree. So<br />

people increasingly feel that they own the brands as<br />

much as the entities that the brand identities purport<br />

to represent.<br />

And thanks to social media, they’ve been invited to<br />

talk directly to those brands, most of whom<br />

desperately wanted this degree of intimacy, and<br />

many of whom got more than they bargained for.<br />

Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram since 1990, is<br />

a senior critic in graphic design at the Yale School of<br />

Art and a lecturer in the practice of design and<br />

management at the Yale School of Management.<br />

He is a co-founder of the popular and informative<br />

website Design Observer and the author of several<br />

books, including his newest, Now You See It, his<br />

collection of essays, published in fall 2<strong>01</strong>7.<br />

16 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


CREATE<br />

Creativity<br />

with UNIIQU3<br />

in the club<br />

Electrifying producer, DJ, rapper and<br />

musician. The rising star that is UNIIQU3<br />

talks collaboration, influences and<br />

trusting herself.<br />

~~~~~~<br />

Q: What do you look for in a possible<br />

collaboration?<br />

UNIIQU3: What I look for when I’m trying to<br />

collaborate is swag. Every rapper, singer and<br />

producer has a different swag. I make music that’s<br />

so different and I always like to challenge myself<br />

to try stuff that’s foreign to me. That’s the only<br />

way I’m gunna grow as a musician.<br />

different about me. It continuously brings me<br />

success. I also learned to be a BOSS and give<br />

people what I expect to receive. I got high ass<br />

standards too. Those are life lessons.<br />

Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, UNIIQU3 has broken out<br />

big, universally regarded as one of the top young producers<br />

in the EDM space. Take a few minutes to listen to her latest<br />

(and not so latest) tracks on the UNIIQU3 Soundcloud, and<br />

keep up with her on the UNIIQU3 Instagram.<br />

Q: You're taking your version of the Jersey Club<br />

sound all over the globe, bringing your unique<br />

(no pun intended) perspective and influencing<br />

those music scenes. Have those international<br />

shows influenced your creativity?<br />

UNIIQU3: The pun could be intended HAHA!! I’ve<br />

been so many places! London, South Korea,<br />

Australia, Mexico so YES traveling and performing<br />

internationally has influenced me creatively. I like<br />

linking up with other producers and DJs<br />

everywhere I go. I also go to local shows, be a<br />

tourist and listen to the radio stations to get<br />

inspiration. I’m one of those musicians that likes<br />

to cater to the audience they’re performing for.<br />

Depending on the city or country I’m in, I like to<br />

pay homage to the sounds that those places<br />

birthed and play my take on their sound, which<br />

would be a Remix I produced or rapped on.<br />

Q: What have you learned in your career so far<br />

that you could<br />

share with other<br />

young women<br />

just starting<br />

out?<br />

UNIIQU3: I’ve<br />

learned to trust<br />

myself and<br />

embrace everything<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

17


INNOVATE<br />

Toxe talks<br />

in music<br />

a a producer to watch<br />

dynamic<br />

dynamic<br />

innovative<br />

ever-changing<br />

arless<br />

fearless<br />

explosive<br />

ever-changing<br />

playful<br />

Toxe (born Tove Angeelii) has been<br />

tagged with the above, and more. Her<br />

accelerated journey from Swedish<br />

high school student to the next wave<br />

of influential DJs and producers is<br />

notable... and the journey has<br />

seemingly just begun for this<br />

emerging talent. Youth will be<br />

served!<br />

We caught up with her to ask<br />

about the role collaboration<br />

plays in her creative process.<br />

18 FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~


I like not knowing what to expect when starting a<br />

collaboration and I prefer to collaborate with people<br />

whose work is very different from mine, while there<br />

is still a mutual, big and humble respect for each<br />

other.<br />

Q: Obviously it's a different creative process when<br />

you're working on your own vs. working on a piece<br />

of music, or project with someone. Tell us a bit<br />

about the differences, the pros, the cons of each<br />

scenario?<br />

Toxe: The difference is simply that when working<br />

alone I can let my ideas run wild without anyone<br />

questioning and responding to it. I feel like it’s<br />

important for me to have those moments of just<br />

being an unstoppable machine printing out ideas.<br />

Q: What were those first collaborative experiences<br />

like when you were getting started? How does that<br />

compare to collaborations you're doing now?<br />

How's it changed, if at all?<br />

Toxe: My first collaborations were with online<br />

friends when I was in high school cause I didn’t<br />

know many people in the city I grew up in who were<br />

into similar stuff. So we were just sending projects<br />

back and forth and working separately. That was<br />

cool cause at that point I wouldn’t feel comfortable<br />

working on music in the same room as someone else.<br />

It was important to find and understand my own<br />

way of making music, undisturbed, at first.<br />

But I think collaborating with others really helps me<br />

grow the most, even if the outcome turns out<br />

horrible. I learn so much from letting people in, it<br />

really helps me understand myself better and what I<br />

what I want my own work to be.<br />

Toxe is a Swedish musician crafting some of the most<br />

innovative music productions on the scene today,<br />

highlighted by her distinctly unique drum patterns. Check<br />

out to samples of Toxe’s music on her Soundcloud page.<br />

I only started working with people IRL after moving<br />

to Berlin in 2<strong>01</strong>7. That has definitely been the<br />

biggest difference, going from chatting online to<br />

being in the same room. Musically I still, most of the<br />

time, prefer working alone though.<br />

Q: What are you looking for when deciding if a<br />

collaboration will be a good fit?<br />

Toxe: It depends what kind of collaboration it is, but<br />

it usually becomes clear after hanging out a bit. I just<br />

look for people whose mind I really admire or whose<br />

work I love, but is something I couldn’t or wouldn’t<br />

do myself.<br />

FLOW OCTOBER 2<strong>01</strong>8<br />

~<br />

19

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