It’s no secret that coworking company WeWork cares about design. Just this week, the company named Bjarke Ingels its chief architect, a move that cemented WeWork’s commitment to investing in good design – one that was already well established with projects like a 1920s building in Paris and a onetime opium factory in Shanghai. Today in San Francisco, the company is celebrating creatives more formally at its Creator Awards, a worldwide competition recognizing the best in artists, entrepreneurs, and other types of “creator” who span the fields of technology and design.
This year, AD100 designer Kelly Wearstler joins the festivities, participating in one of several “Master Class” sessions touching on different subjects. Wearstler’s class, for which she is joined by Queer Eye‘s Tan France, entrepreneur Kevin Rose, and Creative Live CEO Chase Jarvis, is titled “Designing a BIG Life” and focuses on career growth. Ahead of the event, AD PRO caught up with Wearstler to hear more about her thoughts on design, technology, and the intersections of the two.
AD PRO: Why is WeWork a company you’re interested in collaborating with?
Kelly Wearstler: WeWork has revolutionized the modern-day workplace. They are innovative, strategic, and are helping nurture a new generation of entrepreneurs.
AD PRO: The company has redesigned several historic spaces and just named Bjarke Ingels as head architect; why do you think it’s making such big investments in design?
Wearstler: Design touches every aspect of our lives. We actively and passively consume design each day, and a well-designed space has a positive effect on the energy and well-being of those surrounded by it.
AD PRO: Can you tell us more about the subject of your Master Class? What does it mean to design BIG?
Wearstler: My Master Class explores the connection between design, lifestyle, and growth. For me, designing big is about being fearless, staying curious, and following your heart and passion.
AD PRO: What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned about growing your business in today’s world?
Wearstler: Remain true to yourself and your vision as you grow. This is the only way to maintain an authentic voice and unique point of view. It is so important to find your voice and celebrate your uniqueness.
AD PRO: How has your experience as a working designer changed your view of the industry, and what you would tell on-the-rise designers as a result?
Wearstler: Consistently challenge yourself, educate your eye. The industry is always evolving, and to stand out, you need to bring a new and fresh perspective. Continue to surprise your audience.
AD PRO: What are the most pressing issues facing designers today?
Wearstler: Design being primarily consumed online. The quality and what makes a piece truly remarkable can never be fully conveyed in a single digital image. Appreciation for thoughtful design comes when you see, feel, and experience it.
AD PRO: There will be a lot of talent at this year’s awards; who are you most excited to see/meet?
Wearstler: I’m most excited to hear the incredible new ideas from the budding entrepreneurs!
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