Geradeaus, dann nach links und rechts


You may have noticed that the settlers were not communicating for the last month. I've been in Berlin since the beginning of September. I'm there as the faculty lead for the Art Center TestLab project. This term, 12 dream team students from Pasadena and I are spending three months working on a transmedia project. The core of the project is to redefine Americana with a European millenial audience. How can we communicate the positive aspects of American culture today or in five years? We don't have the luxury of the reputation as the "good guys" in the world anymore. So what remains that has positive resonance?

Here are answers to the questions I've been asked most frequently since taking this on:

How do you do AdamsMorioka work?

In all honesty, Noreen is carrying the burden of being in the office every day and keeping things running. I work on projects, art direct, and am engaged every day via Skype. When I get up each morning, the office in LA is ending their day. So I work on projects during my day in Berlin and the night in Los Angeles. By the time I'm turning in, I've shipped off the work and they start their day. I'm the graveyard shift.

Why did you agree to do this?

First, it was a remarkable honor to be asked. Second, I know we will do some truly groundbreaking research and work. Third, the students are the cream of the crop and I actually personally like all of them, and finally, I've never done anything but go to work and go home since I was 20 years old.

How can you be AIGA President 8000 miles away?

I have a great c0-president, Drew Davies. I work via email and Skype, but Drew has the weight of responding in real time and being boots on the ground. I will owe him a lot of cocktails when I get back in November.

Where do you live?

I live in an apartment hotel with the students. It's a change from a house in the hills with a pool to a 300 sq ft room. I tried washing my clothes in the bathtub, but that went badly.

Is it fun?

Absolutely. It's hard hard work and takes a huge amount of energy, but it's an adventure. The solutions are inspiring and I know this is an experience that is life-changing. And when asked for directions on the street, I get to send people in the wrong direction. I really only know how to tell someone to go "straight ahead, turn left, or turn right" in German. So that's what I always say, no matter where they want to go.

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