I'm Mason Currey—for the past few months, I've been working as a guest editor here at Core77, and now my Core colleagues (Core-lleagues?) have asked me to write a brief post introducing myself.
So, first, let me take this opportunity to shamelessly plug my new book. It's called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, and it collects information about the routines and working habits of 161 inspired minds—among them, novelists, painters, composers, poets, philosophers, filmmakers, and scientists. If you're interested in Beethoven's coffee-making regimen, Kafka's procrastination methods, Buckminster Fuller's nap schedule, or Benjamin Franklin's naked "air baths"—look no further, this is the book for you!
In all seriousness, though, the book is also relevant to my work here at Core. As you might guess, I have always been fascinated by process—by how creative people make the time to do their work, and what rituals, habits, superstitions, and neuroses help (or hinder) their creative activity. At Core, I've been feeding this obsession with a couple of new blog series. One is the Core77 Questionnaire, where we're asking a variety of designers 22 questions about their current projects, backgrounds, working habits, and thoughts on design. Over the past few weeks, we've talked to Ralf Groene, the director of design for Microsoft's Surface tablet; Paul Loebach, a furniture and product designer in Brooklyn; and Ayse Birsel, who has named herself the Chief De:Re Officer of Birsel + Seck. We'll be posting a new interview every other Tuesday.
I've also been working with the Baltimore journalist Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson on a series of profiles of design entrepreneurs. Here, we're trying to present a variety of different models for how industrial designers are making their way as businesspeople. We're asking them how they got where they are, what they actually do all day, and what advice they have for other designers trying to run their own businesses. So far Elizabeth has profiled a young American designer working in Europe; a self-described angst-ridden creative capitalist in San Francisco; the co-founder of an ever-expanding wine-tote empire; and a product designer whose practice also encompasses writing, curating, teaching, Tweeting, and consulting on an Arabian reality-television show.
Of course, I'm not only concerned with process. At the same time that I was compiling Daily Rituals, I also worked as a design-magazine editor, first at Metropolis and then at Print, and I'm equally fascinated by the big-picture shifts happening across the industry. In an effort to capture some of these shifts on a small scale, I've enlisted the San Francisco journalist Rachel Swaby to identify a weekly Trendlet—some interesting or unusual confluence of design ideas, from extreme knits to trippy trompe l'oeil installations.
These three series are just a start. Along with the other Core editors, I'm working on some additional new ideas for the blog—and I'd love to hear from Core readers about what sort of content you'd like to see. What segments of the industry should we be covering more often? What kinds of information would be genuinely useful for your careers? Please let us know in the comments section.