Shaking it Up

by Erika Templeton

This month we asked the question, What does it mean to be a mover and shaker? The obvious answer is, of course, “don’t be a member Congress,” but finding the not-so-obvious answer meant shaking off some old ideas of our own.

We ditched the “game changers,” the “paradigm shifters,” the shunned establishments and broken rules, and focused instead on a group of designers who seek the kind of life-affirming soul satisfaction that is so often the reward for taking great risk. They’ve shown us that forging a new path is not about what you’ve done or who you’re up against. It’s about how you perceive the future, and whether you have the fortitude—and diplomatic finesse—to shape it.

The process does come with its own proverbial drumbeat, but it still has to fit in to the larger symphony we as an industry create. Here are a few “truths” we’ve gleaned while tuning in to their harmonious new rhythms:

And, as IIDA's Felice Silverman discusses in her column, it’s not about finding inspiration, but new ways to inspire.

To put it into some seasonal terms, it’s knowing that if Thanksgiving dinner starts to seem bland, with the same traditions and expectations year after year, you don’t have to throw out the turkey to make a better gravy. Just introduce Grandma to cumin and teach her a better way to whisk.

Catching a glimpse of this pragmatic exceptionalism at work is truly inspiring, because it shows us that when we learn to walk the fine line of legacy, we can begin to bend it to our advantage, and shape the world just as much as it shapes us.

We’ve been doing some moving and shaking of our own at I&S: winning the 2013 Ceramics of Italy Journalism Award; re-thinking CEUs with our first-ever Hotel Tour; and working diligently to unveil our special 30th Anniversary Edition for 2014.

It’s not always easy, to be sure. As a remote team working across the country, expressing, selling and coming to consensus on our ideas can be a hard fought victory. But the battle scars are something to be proud of, and the process of earning them embraced. Without that driving quest, it all starts to feel like it could use a little salt.