Learning About Creative Leadership - A Friendship Tale

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A forward dive straight into a designer's mind, that was the conversation between Joe Gebbia, Co-Founder of AirBnB, and his former teacher John Meada, President of the Rhode Island School of Design. The lines between art, business and education got blurred. Nurturing creativity within organizations was one focus they chose to discuss.

In his neon green Reebok shoes, Joe Gebbia thought about what it really means to be a designer. He shot soft questions over to John Maeda who on the other hand shared his ideas on different flavors in art. "Design is not a method, it can't be coded in an algorithm," John Maeda said. It may have a rational pattern, but contains a beauty and craziness you can't find elsewhere. As a creative leader, John Maeda added, you have to make sure that these little vibrations you send out don't become tornadoes within your company.

Leaving perfection behind and moving towards empathy, design can have a powerful impact. "Become the person you want to design for," Joe Gebbia gave the advice. If it concerns medial design, "lay down in the bed and become the patient." Empathy sparks creativity, which then again is the missing link in many tech start-ups. Alongside a "yes"-attitude and inspiration coming from a note book or simply a paper bug, there is no reason to expect more and more founders from art schools in the near future.

Mentioned in this live blog

1303 maeda photo
John Maeda
Providence, RI
Joe gebbia web
Joe Gebbia
Airbnb Inc.
Co-founder & Chief Product Officer
Airbnb Inc.
San Francisco

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