Episode 6 – Christopher Daniel

Designing for possibilities rather than expectations.”

Christopher Daniel (@polysemic42 and @longnowldn on Twitter and @polysemic on Instagram), is an architect, educator, designer and inveterate enthusiast. When I was pulling together the various initial threads of what this podcast could be he was one of the first people I contacted to sense check what I was doing and how. His breadth of listening and reading across the creative industries, combined with consistently taking that material and actually doing something with it in the real world, made him an excellent sounding board for ideas and the plans for their practical application. A great example of that, and just one among many, was doing a conversation where I shared frustrations around trying to convert ideas ofr a visual icon for the podcast into something I could use, without investing hundreds of pounds in unknown providers. Chris listened intently, asked a few seemingly basic questions and responded with visual mock-ups that were exactly what I’d been trying to articulate. True to his talent for converting ideas into useful things he then refine one for me just because he enjoyed the challenge of figuring it out and making something interesting. And that’s been the icon I’ve used since day one.

In this broad ranging conversation we get into:

  • The value of enthusiasm and curiosity
  • Theatre design and design for performance
  • Burning Man, opportunity and the power of possibility
  • Extrinsic vs intrinsic motivation and finding meaningful work
  • A building as an iterative process
  • Conventional architectural training and designers relationship with their work
  • Hierarchy in design studios
  • How buildings learn
  • Long-term thinking and the work of the Long Now Foundation
  • Teaching as part of developing creative practice


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