My top 5 recent inspirations

Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid

First up is legendary architect, Zaha Hadid. I’ve always been vaguely aware of Hadid’s work but it actually wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when I caught the BBC Imagine documentary on her life, that my interest was really sparked. The innovation and research she has pushed throughout the years has been mind-blowing, particularly her work generating fluid, organic designs though specially developed computer software. But the biggest surprise of the documentary for me was the focus on her bold, unique architectural drawings. While having a purpose as a building plan, they are also incredible artworks in their own right. It is now my mission to have one on my wall!

Alexandre Dubosc

On first glance the animations of French film-maker Alexander Dubosc appear to be typical quirky stop motion animations. But as many of his films develop they reveal an extra layer of interest based on the very oldest forms of animation. Taking the basic concepts of Victorian devices such as the zoptrope and phenokistoscope, he has painstakingly created incredible moving images with various every day objects (usually food) all in-camera. It has to be seen to be believed! Being a motion design obsessive and a lover of cakes  Dubosc’s work is a combination of my favourite things and inspires me every time he releases a film.

Björk : Biophilia

Bjork - Biophilia

In 2012 Björk released her new album as a collection of groundbreaking interactive worlds housed within an app. Each app has it’s own theme in connection with the songs content. Björk has been very vocal over the years about getting more people to engage with playing and experiencing music, and this app let’s you interact with all the musical elements in the song. There’s far too much to describe here but I highly recommend this app. It has brought me inspiration across design, interaction development and the limitless nature of technology.

Griottes Blog

Griottes is the blog of French Art Director, Emilie. It’s a visual feast of stunning photography, tasty food and quirky graphics. I always look to her blog when I need a bit of fun inspiration. I particularly like the foody Pantones she created two years ago.

Faces in Places

And last but not least, as all designers know, sometimes deadlines can loom and pressure can build so if you’re in need of a quick cheer up what better way than to find Faces in Places! (Warning: you will start to see faces in everything once you follow this blog!)

Bonus Round

David Birnbaum

What can I really say about a gentleman who has over 180 of the world’s top thought leaders standing behind his work? Going from selling priceilosphical problems might seem odd, but David Birnbaum makes the connection work beautifully. Brinbaum’s greatest piece of work has to be Summa Metaphysica, a series of books that made me really challenge the way I see life’s obstacles. Reaching for potential is never a waste of time, and Birnbaum describes this journey better than just about anyone.

Can We ever truly understand the Purpose for Life?

There’s a topic that every self help book seems to talk about, and everyone else seems to be hungry to hear about: the purpose of life. Why are we here? What is the point of life when there is so much pain and suffering, so much misery and death? It’s a philosophical problem that isn’t new at all. Indeed, man has pondered his own existence for hundreds of thousands of years. We like to believe that we’re special, but we’re still following the same pattern that we’ve done all this time, but with a few changes.

One, we’re all looking for ways to acquire resources, build communities, and interact with people that are devoted to helping us protect our families. The family unit is an extension of the tribes of old. Instead of going with bigger groups in order to stay safe, we’ve drilled it down to just being a family. This change has had its share of pros and cons, but most people find this beneficial.

Purpose for Life

Purpose is defined by the person pondering it. For example, if you’ve spent your whole life trying to become an artist, you might find this worthwhile. But the scientist may not find the path of the artist very appealing, so they go their own way. This isn’t something that should be criticized in the sense that either path is better than the other. But as a society, we tend to reward the scientist and punish the artist, unless they find some way to stand out from all of the other artists trying to make a living.

Make sure that when you think of your purpose, you don’t just settle for linking your purpose to money. Many have traveled that path and found it very lacking. Purpose should be a lot more than that, because we’re meant to do more than just pay taxes and die at an early age. If you want to get meaning out of your life, you have to start looking at it from a different perspective.

For example, what would you like to do in order to leave your mark on the world? Do you want to build a business that has a deeply humanitarian element to it? Do you want to travel the world teaching English as a second language?  There are so many different ways to make a difference that it can be hard to see where you should begin.

What happens when you feel like you’re living your life’s purpose, but something does feel a bit empty? It’s time to go back to the drawing board. We suggest daily, weekly or even monthly journaling sessions where you get to review where you’re going, what you’ve been up to, and what setbacks you’ve experienced. There are things that are in your control, and things that aren’t in your control. The challenge is to find what you truly desire, and then take action. That’s right: you’re going to have to take action in order to change something. The trouble that we often run into as a culture is that we don’t encourage really changing anything. We encourage the consumption of information, but that never leads to happiness at all.

The truth is that you’re going to need to do a lot of personal inventory on the matter in order to find your purpose. Unfortunately, this isn’t a topic that anyone can give you hard answers on. But if you’re new to philosophy, it can be fun to think about all of the little variables in-between!