Robert L. Peters

24 September 2007

Kudos & such…

People have had some very kind and generous things to say about my work, writing, teaching, counsel, and organizational efforts… here is some selected feedback received. (Of course they also occasionally throw rotten fruit or send hate mail, but I’m choosing to keep some of that to myself :-).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“This isn’t flying. This is falling in style.”

An hour-long talk I gave at OFFF 2009 in Oeiras (Lisbon), Portugal triggered a standing ovation (apparently a first in the five years of the event’s history), along with dozens and dozens of enthusiastic responses…

• “Yours was my favorite talk… so full of truths and concerns that I share in my daily life and practice. You put it all in such a concise way….” — Andre, Lisbon

• “Thank you for the highly inspiring presentation… I’d like to thank you for adjusting my focus on how things should be….” — Niklas, Berlin

• “I was one of thousands here who watched your presentation. I was very inspired….” — Leonardo, Porto

• “I loved the simplicity and effectiveness of your work. I am even more impressed with your words of wisdom and your willingness to share this with us….” — Manuela, Lisbon

• “Your presentation was the most inspiring and motivating I have heard….” — Nina, Leeds

• “I loved your talk. It was a moral kick to everybody’s head… my desire was to give you a hug, but I am a shy person and I didn’t want to be misunderstood.” — Ana, Portugal

• “I loved your presentation at OFFF09. In addition to being fun and entertaining, you were to the point, and presented very important ideas… very courageous of you to take this approach….” — John, Oslo

• “I really enjoyed your presentation… you’re a great source of inspiration!” — Nicky, Antwerp

• “Thank you for one of the most inspiring sessions at the conference.” — Morten, Denmark

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Design Down Under: Graphic Design in the Land of Oz”

The September/October 2007 issue (#355) of Communication Arts magazine features a piece I wrote on the visual communication profession in Australia… (read it here).

• “The article is fantastic… it really is! Thank you on behalf of Australian design… this magificent feature will definitely boost our international profile.”

• “It’s great, mate! Congratulations, and thank you…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Design 101: what you didn’t learn in school, or may have long forgotten.”

This was the third year in a row that I’ve given a talk at the FITC event in Toronto. My 2007 lecture seemed to touch a chord with many of the 136 in attendance (overall feedback summary rating: 95.2%).

• “Excellent presentation! Absolutely loved it… very informative. Mr. Peters was very well spoken….”

• “Your talk was very engaging and enlightening. I felt particularly connected with your treatment and approach to design, the problem of design, and also the monumental role and responsibility it holds. I sensed this profound passion in your speech… I’d love to attend anything you do in the future.”

• “Well presented, best presentation all weekend.”

• “Wonderful presentation of concepts.”

• “Very inspirational. Loved the slides.”

• “Awesome!”

• “Entertaining! Very, very good!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Lectures at the ICIS Centre, Hornbaek, Denmark

A participant of the 2006 lectures I gave at ICIS (the International Centre for Creativity, Innovation, and Sustainability) had this to say…

“I want to thank you for the very inspiring lectures that you gave last year. To me the whole course has been a personal and professional milestone, and your teaching was the part that moved me most. During that year I gained the courage to listen to and follow my professional dreams and ambitions. I started a new partnership and returned to my roots: furniture and industrial design. It hasn’t been easy so far—but this is where my heart beats and work gives meaning to me…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“The Future: by Design”

A presentation I gave at the 2005 FITC event in Toronto generated a lot of response…

• “The feedback for you and David Carson were the most vocal, and the most polarized. Thankfully the vast majority of comments were very, very positive. Shit, I’ve never seen comments like “life changing experience” in all my time doing this. So, good on ya. Nice work….” — Shawn Pucknell, Director, FITC // Design & Technology Events

• “I was very moved by your presentation and felt it was a voice that needs to be heard… I intend to share the ideas you presented with colleagues, my family, and my students.”

• “Thanks so much for your talk at FITC. I’ve just been asked to quote on a project for McDonalds this morning and am currently in a battle to try and convince my company not to take on the project!”

• “Sublime!”

• “Motivating, great presenter!”

• “Stimulating and informative….”

• “This was the only presentation that changed the way I think. Truly good….”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“No Sleeping Dragon: Graphic Design in China”

An in-depth 14-page feature article I wrote describing the emergence of the graphic design profession in mainland China appeared in the March/April 2004 (#327) issue of Communication Arts magazine (and is online here).

• “Thank you for your great effort. You must have done an intensive research and read a lot of books… the reader can see from ancient Chinese history to the modern age of China’s design. You have given the global design industry a clear picture of contemporary Chinese design… I must say, you are someone who has an in-depth knowledge of the Chinese design field.” — Hon Bing-wah, Hong Kong

• “I’ve discovered yet another talent of yours… not only are you a talented design guru, you are an engaging, thoughtful and thorough writer! This is a beautifully presented and engaging article!” — Eva Anderson, USA (author)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Think Sideways—Question Everything”

On 24 October 2003 I gave a talk at the AIGA National Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

• “I was fortunate to attend your terriffic presentation at the AIGA Conference. I just can’t believe how much of your presentation was in line with my own mentality. Please keep up the good work….”

• “I am speechless and humbled with the amount of information and world-vision you provided me in this single session… here’s to a better designed world!”

• “I found your talk to be one of the most salient addresses I have ever heard. Thank you for caring enough to put that together….”

• “Great presentation… very important message you shared with AIGA.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

HOW Design Sign-Off: “Question Everything”

The piece I’ve written for the ‘Design/SignOff’ column of HOW Magazine’s August 2003 issue suggests that designers can indeed contribute to positive change in the world.

• “Thank you for your well written piece in HOW. You were able to express many of my own concerns in a clear and concise manner that will hopefully open a few eyes to the powers that designers yield…”

• “As designers it is easy to go asleep at the wheel and to think that we are not responsible for anything other than the chic, hip, cool. Your article is an alarm clock…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Brasil! Brasil! Brasil!”

A feature article describing graphic design in South America’s colorful powerhouse and exhibiting a selection of this dynamic country’s best graphic design, appears in the March/April 2003 (#319) issue of Communication Arts magazine. (You can read it online here).

• “I was thrilled to read this wonderful article about my homeland! I was extremely glad to find such a piece dealing in so much detail with Brasil’s history, culture, people, and design trends. Mr. Peters definitely captured the Brazilian way of living… excellent! or Parabéns in Portuguese! I can’t say enough how thrilled I was to read this…” — Ada Jardim, ex-pat Carioca living in Milwaukee, USA

• “Congratulations! Peters’ article is exemplary… a beautiful, well formulated, elegant text about my people and culture. I became very happy when I read your text… I regularly read the Economist, Le Monde, and Wired and I don’t remember ever reading an article so complete and rich about my country not written by a Brazilian.” — Gustavo Igreja, Brasilia, Brasil (journalist)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“The Future: by Design”

In February 2003 I was invited to give a presentation at the AIGA ‘Y8/Proximity’ Conference in San Diego, California…

• “Your presentation was quite amazing and impactful to say the least! It completely set the bar for the rest of the conference… thanks again for an incredible, thought-provoking and inspiring talk.”

• “I enjoyed your presentation greatly… it was very moving, and it both inspired and motivated me to make a difference and get involved. I think it is incredible what you are trying to do…”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


3 July 2003

Question Everything

how.jpg

Cincinnati, USA

In response to a request following his presentation at the AIGA ‘Y8/Proximity’ Conference in San Diego earlier this year, Circle’s principal Robert L. Peters has written the ‘Design/SignOff’ column for HOW Magazine’s August 2003 issue, entitled “Question Everything.” The article suggests that designers can indeed contribute to positive change in the world.

Copies of the HOW issue may be purchased online. Text for the article follows, and further links to statistical sources and resources are available on the HOW website here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Question Everything

Ask Why. Question the answers. Assume nothing. Especially as you consider design’s role in shaping the world.

Are we regressing as a species? Is might again right? Greed is good? As I write this, smart American bombs are flattening the ancient city of Baghdad. SUV owners complain about gas prices. Foreign despots are blamed for threatening the American way of life, yet that ironic way of life – with ravenous over-consumption as its modus operandi – poses the greatest threat to our fragile, over-stressed planet. Do designers even care, or are we numbed by the media din that we ourselves have created, deaf and dumb to large issues?

Facts don’t disappear because they are ignored. Of our six billion fellow human beings (doubled since 1963) two billion go hungry daily, with no access to clean water. An estimated 35,000 children die each day of malnourishment and preventable diseases. A staggering 40% of humans live on less than $2 per day. Aids deaths now top 6000 daily, with more than 50 million infected with HIV/Aids. Violence as entertainment brews a toxic mindset, abstracting human suffering and gratuitously desensitizing billions. One person is murdered every minute, one dies in armed conflict, and another commits suicide. Globalization is not helping – unequal distribution of wealth, health and knowledge is widening gaps between the haves and have-nots. Unrest, fear, fundamentalism and fanaticism breed in the hearts of those with nothing to lose, everything to gain. Global warming, habitat loss, species extinction… the dark list goes on.

Worldwide, the U.S. imposes its glittering material culture and values through the Trojan horse of its ubiquitous brands – ”Coca-colonization,” as Victor Papanek predicted 30 years ago. But behind the over-indulgent, branded facade, much is not well at home. Even as others starve, Americans are dying of excess – a whopping 64.5% of Americans are now considered overweight. $70 USD billion per year is spent caring for those sickened by preventable obesity-related illnesses. Starved for ‘real’ stimulus and sensation, lethargic, media-saturated audiences absorb a toxic brew of escapist programming. The average child sees 16,000 violent deaths on TV by the age of 18, and guns are the greatest cause of death among American children.

Caught in a self-centered cycle of greed, exploitation and armament (nearly $500 USD billion is spent on arms annually) it seems Americans are too busy shopping (patriotically), consuming energy (6 times more per capita than Mexicans, 38 times more than Indians) and simply coping with their own ‘lifestyle.’ One in ten Americans is now an alcoholic, and antidepressant drug use in the U.S. has increased 800% in the past 10 years alone. Sadly, the all-consuming ‘rat race’ prevents citizens from taking an active role in democracy or investing in social equality.

But hope is at hand. Design is a powerful, proven agent of change. In today’s information/idea age, the world’s 1.1 million graphic designers hold much responsibility – for forming culture, influencing values and shaping the world our children will live in. Nowhere is this more true than in the U.S., today’s most powerful and influential nation. Simply put, the hearts and actions of American designers today will determine the world of tomorrow. There is much that can be done: 1) Care more; 2) Become a world citizen; 3) Assume responsibility for elevating those less fortunate – the destitute, uneducated, dispossessed; 4) Envision a sustainable future for the world – then share your vision; 5) Help raise awareness of the crucial issues; 6) Choose to have less and live more; 7) Put people before profit, human values before consumer values; 8) Act collectively; 9) Give of your time and talent, alongside the growing number working to lift the curse of injustice, ignorance, exploitation, hunger and war; 10) But first – have the moral courage to ask some hard questions.

RLP


« Previous Page

© 2002-2019 Robert L. Peters
All rights reserved.