“The wrong answer is the right answer looking for a different question.”
Bruce Mau is a dazzlingly creative optimist whose love of thorny problems led him to imagine a new methodology for whole-system transformation. He’s a brilliant amalgam of designer, philosopher, curator, author, educator and visionary. It’s not nouns, though, that best explain what he does. It’s verbs. And what Bruce does best is provoke, invite, incite, lead, and dare us to think differently about the world of design—and the design of the world.
A serial entrepreneur since the age of 9, he became an international figure with the publication of his landmark S,M,L,XL, designed and co-authored with Rem Koolhaas. Mau founded the Institute without Boundaries, a purpose-driven postgraduate design program at George Brown College in Toronto, and it’s there that he and his students co-created the groundbreaking exhibition and best-selling book, Massive Change. His “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth,” a 43-point declaration on sustaining a creative life, has been translated into 15 languages. He is the author of MC24, founder of Bruce Mau Studio and co-founder and CEO of Massive Change Network, a holistic design collective based in Chicago. He is also the Chief Design Officer for Freeman, the pioneers in live brand experience.
Across 30 years of design innovation, he’s collaborated with leading organizations, heads of state, entrepreneurs, renowned artists, and fellow optimists. He focuses on lifecentered design, helping companies curate their truest work, and teaches both students and businesses how to articulate a positive and practical future. He’s designed social movements, brands, businesses, institutions and projects from sustainable carpets to a 1,000-year plan for the future of Mecca.
He’s served as a Visiting Professor at institutions worldwide including the Getty Research Institute in California and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, as the Cullinan Chair at Rice University, and was conferred a Distinguished Fellowship at Northwestern University. Mau is the recipient of The Design Mind Award from the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, AIGA gold Medal, and six honorary degrees. He was named an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA, London. He travels the globe to lecture and consider architecture, art and film, conceptual philosophy, and “work as a beautiful experiment.” And always, his designs challenge us to imagine a more just and sustainable world.
An Evening with Bruce Mau
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