The city of Amsterdam, the Dutch government, and a host of private sponsors are funding an accelerator for "successful dropouts and Harvard alumni" from around the world. The goal? More talent in Amsterdam.
Designers on their inspiration, good design, and its importance in the world today. Masters of Design winners John Maeda and Marcel Wanders discuss how design is crucial from a business standpoint, and not just frills to be excised in budget-conscious times.
Marcel Wanders talked about the fairy tale that informed the design of the new Mondrian Hotel in Miami, and the fear he has to face down every time he begins a new project. John Maeda spoke of design's hidden return on investment — its impact on an organization's human resources.
The occasion was Fast Company's Masters of Design gala, where Wanders and Maeda, both 2008 winners, held forth on the challenges and opportunities for design both in good times - and in rotten ones.
Like everyone else, the design field braced for the fallout from the financial meltdown. At the time, some of us argued that good things could come from a period of constraint and reexamination. The consumer culture of design had become overwrought, with limited edition candleholders that sell for $2,700.