CDF Quiz: Adrian Shaughnessy
Graphic designer Adrian Shaughnessy spent 15 years as creative director of Intro, the music design studio he co-founded in 1998 but today he runs Shaughnessy Works, combining design and editorial direction. He is also co-founder and director of the publishing company Unit Editions and has a weekly radio show Graphic Design on the Radio on Resonance FM. He has recently been appointed Visiting Professor for the Visual Communication course at the RCA in London. Adrian will be appearing at the 2012 Festival but for now he steps up for the CDF Quiz…
Which design object has made a difference to your life?
Since nearly every object has been designed, this is hard to guage. My first house? My first car? The first vinyl record I bought? My laptop? If pushed, I’d say that books are the ‘design objects’ that have made the most difference in my life.
Which is more important education or experience?
They are the same thing, surely? I’m aware that in my own teaching, I’m usually handing on my experience. Both education and experience are only any good if they result in learning. Education that doesn’t increase knowledge, and experience that doesn’t result in learning, are both equally worthless.
How would your describe your way of looking at the world?
Progressive and forward looking, but as I get older I also find that I look more to the past than I once did. I’m terrified of becoming a person who doesn’t enjoy change and embrace progress, but I’m equally worried by the eradication of the past or the dismissal of history. Does this make me sound confused?
Who would you like to design something for?
This will sound ultra selfish, but the answer is myself. What I really mean is that I’m passionate about designers using their skills not just to execute the wishes of their clients, but to use these skills for themselves to start ventures or make statements. I’ve used what I’ve learned about design, about business, and about communication, to start a publishing company. With my two business partners (both from the world of design) we have discovered that between us we possess most of the skills needed to be publishers.
As I’ve never done anything in my life that I haven’t felt could be done ‘better next time’, I’m on a perpetual quest to make the next task – whatever it is – better than the last one.