Each month, we’ll be tapping into some of the creative minds within our network for the people, places, and things that are inspiring them at the moment. This month we hear from Rachael Yaeger (Human NYC), Nikita Walia (BLANK), Benji Wiedemann (Wiedemann Lampe), David Michon, Umar ElBably (Faculty), Blair Lauren Brown (Verte Essentials / Poplar), and Jolyon Varley (OK COOL)
What have you read recently that’s left an Impact?
Nikita Walia“I recently gave a presentation on the new cultural operating system brands should embrace in this coming decade, and something I keep thinking about constantly as a result of that is this Pew Study on media sources and trust. I'm constantly creating from a space of trying to understand where people are in their positional understanding and relationship to the internet, and these have been living rent-free in my mind since I read them. We can't agree on what is objectively true – and that scares me.” [Link 1 - see list at bottom]
Rachael Yaeger‘Positive Intelligence’ by Shirzad Chamine
Nikita WaliaThe Post-Social Media Report by Co-Matter
Jolyon Varley‘Awareness’ by Anthony DeMello
Blair Lauren Brown‘Breath’ by James Nestor
David MichonI’m mostly trying to absorb some wisdom of the past, especially around projects that embody that combination of creativity, control and impact but with a DIY flavour to them. I’ve found that in reading V. Vale's ‘Goals of Life’ and other manifestos of decades past, like those by Eddie Heathcote. I’m also re-reading K-HOLE’s reports and digging into Protein’s ‘DIRTY WORDS’ (which are more reassuring than provocative).
Benji Wiedemann“I recently managed to get my hands on a copy of 'HfG-Synopse' which is the scaled down and bound version of the Hochschule für Gestaltung Ulm Synopsis exhibition featuring a chronological appraisal of the pioneering work produced at the HfG. It's a great reminder of how philosophy, psychology, politics, sociology and economics should drive the decision-making process.”
Jolyon Varley‘Skin in the Game’ by Nasim Taleb
Benji Wiedemann'Your Hands Can Heal You' by Stephen Co & Eric B. Robins
Blair Lauren Brown‘The Immortality Key’ by Brian Murareskue
Umar ElBablyOliver Sacks' ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat’ has significantly changed how I'm currently thinking about people and has broadened my appreciation for the differences we all have as humans. Sacks walks us through his most striking cases as a neurologist. Although sometimes deeply saddening, Sacks approaches all patients with no judgement, just acceptance, curiosity, love, and a commitment to help.
Is there a visual or piece of creative you’ve come across this month that’s stood out above the rest?
David Michon I'm looking at Hot Mess & their whole vibe. [Link 2]
Umar ElBablyThe homies at PLAYLAB, INC. and SOME DAYS continually blow me away with their work, but their new campaigns for LES BENJAMINS and OPEN, respectively, blew me away. Their projects are so creative, and without seeing the behind the scenes, you'd expect a massive production and budget behind it. Yet the teams operate so lean and nimble. [Link 3 & 4]
Are you listening to anything that’s especially resonated?
Umar ElBablyI'm obsessed with psychology/neuroscience, specifically its relation to finance. The legend Charlie Munger taught me about the various misjudgments humans make and how to be a more comprehensive decision maker in his Harvard University (1995) speech. I make a million mistakes, so this is great food for my thought.
David MichonMore so following certain people – Kim Hastreiter; Luka Sabbat... Jesus Christ, it's all about who you know. (As in, they are at least *a lot* about who they know.)
Rachael YaegerNarrow Shoulders’ debut album, Be Here Now. And Krista Tippet’s interview with Katherine May on the concept of ‘wintering’ on the On Being podcast. [Link 5]
Have you been anywhere or experienced anything you've felt inspired by lately?
Rachael YaegerHanging out in nature at Roscoe Motel. [Link 6]
Nikita WaliaI just adopted a Galgo from a shelter in Spain, and getting to know this dog - who I quite literally do not share a language with (when he got here he only spoke Spanish!), who is working his way through trauma, to understanding that he now has a home and lives across the world from everything he's ever known strangely has deeply impacted my view of the world. After a year of isolation, it's easy to lose touch with everything and everyone, and May (my dog) has helped me develop a renewed compassion.
Umar ElBablyI micro-dosed LSD for the first time. It may be the first time I've ever had a non-cluttered and clear mind. The benefits for me seem abundant, but I'm still processing.
Jolyon VarleyLepe Beach in Hampshire, UK
David MichonNot really; rather I'm realising that I am absolutely turned off by AR.
Benji WiedemannOver the recent months (almost a year now…) I have spent considerable time in the Olympic Park. This normally involves trying to get my kids onto their bikes so I can get them back home and locked down. During this time I have really grown to appreciate the vibe and vision of the park. These places are often destined to become nostalgic relics but instead it has become an integrated and integral part of London life. Almost a decade on, the 2012 Olympic Games seem to have had the role of a midwife, helping give birth to this new place, revitalising the area with its own purpose and growing a destination way beyond sport…
Any other reflections or bits of inspiration?
Blair Lauren BrownWhat an incredible time this period has been for reflection. As the world (in places) is trying to open up, in ways it creates this sincere opportunity to think about what we really want to let back in. Life can be simplified and prioritized in ways so many of us never afforded ourselves before. It’s really cool. Anxious for some. Life altering for most.
Jolyon VarleyOur Innovation and Creative Inspo Slack channels in the studio, our Instagram Stories, In Case You Missed It episodes…this wasn't intended to read like a plug but we genuinely knock out a tonne of interesting content at velocity.
David MichonI'm most intrigued by brands that don't invent but bring a product to a new market – Faculty; Harry's; etc. Yet, I'm absolutely exhausted by start-up speak – the thrill of being a Beta tester is gone; tech feels exclusive and too monied; its branding is all too sweet. Fuck Silicon Valley. All reasons why I can't seem to get interested in Clubhouse.