Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

S5E10: Eddie Opara

Eddie Opara is a multidisciplinary designer and a partner at the design firm Pentagram.

There is nothing more important to a designer than the power of listening, Opara says:
It's very much like you are a psychologist and they've come in for therapy. And they don't really know what therapy is, a little bit on edge. And you say, “Just lie down and wait.…Tell me about your issues and just keep talking to me.”

And then we start to look at the particular challenges and start to unravel these narratives into a path that they can understand. But also they start to see themselves or their whole company in an entirely different light and representation because you have understood what was at the heart of the situation. (I don't normally like to use the term problem, I think that designers use that too often. I think it's more “situations.”

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Posted in: Business, Design of Business | Business of Design, Graphic Design

Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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