The Kindness of Strangers

During a lovely conversation with a young German designer, we both agreed that well established designers here in NYC are down to earth, humble and approachable. Something that is entirely not the case in Germany, she said. And I agree. I am regularly amazed at how lovely and humble so many of these super-established designers in our industry are. I never forget when I met Steff Geissbuehler for the first time. He sat down with me and we had a 20minute chat and bonded over our common Swiss roots.

Or take Michael Bierut who so generously agreed on giving a CreativeMornings talk in January of this year. Not only did he give a talk but a brand new talk on clients. (Anyone who knows how much time it takes to put a talk together must be equally humbled by this as I was!)

The list goes on, add Steven Heller, Debbie Millman, Paola Antonelli etc.

One of my readers pointed me to this wonderful article called The Kindness of Strangers by Jessica Helfand. I love the part where Jessica talks about Milton Glaser:

I have heard that Milton Glaser will never accept a social invitation if it means canceling a class, because his students come first. This makes him a rock star in my book, and makes me wonder if we should start teaching ethics in design school. If charity begins at home, how can we proclaim new and progressive agendas of social change without examining ourselves, our students, our profession?

Here’s to the rockstars in our industries that stay humble and approachable!

The Kindness of Strangers, by Jessica Helfand

3 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Thank you for sharing this! It was a wonderful read :)

  2. Jessica is one of those people herself.

    Coming right out of school I saw a posting for a design position at Winterhouse and I immediately sent my book. I wasn’t qualified for the position but she responded with a sincere and encouraging handwritten note rather than a stock rejection form (I still have the note). Not only that but she returned my book to me at her expense, which I felt was going above and beyond expectations.

    It was just a little thing, but it meant a lot to me at the time.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with the advice that the best education comes from good design offices. I feel that the education I have received working and practicing design professionally was / is priceless.