December 1, 2009
Studio 707 on Sabbatical
At the 2004 TED Conference Heidi Swanson introduced me to the brilliant Austrian-born designer Stefan Sagmeister. She was right to think that beginning with a shared interest in artist-environmentalist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Stefan and I would have a lot in common.
For me and apparently for himself, Stefan has proved a constant discovery process. For example, two years ago when I called to ask him to direct the design of a hotel project I was involved in, Stefan expressed his regret explaining that he was closing his design studio for a sabbatical. It’s best if you hear how this works directly from Stefan: http://is.gd/582Bh
Then, the coupe de gras arrived serendipitously last September as a birthday gift from Sally Schneider , the book Stefan wrote after his most recent sabbatical, “Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far.”
Somewhere in the midst of random inspirations from Stefan, I gave my longtime friend Carl Doumani a birthday gift of three-weeks in Spain during which I shared the wondrous art, architecture and food world I’d discovered in my long, rich relationship with the Ferrer Family of the Freixenet wine empire.
At Carl’s insistence, the trip included a pilgrimage to Ferran Adria’s El Bulli. Standing in Adria’s kitchen with him at 1 a.m. after a 21-course culinary adventure, we listened to his passionate description of revitalizing his creative alchemy by working only half the year and experimenting the other half.
Possessed as I was by the approach of both Adria and Sagmeister, I couldn’t bring myself to take the leap off the treadmill. That is, until late one afternoon in June 2009 when I received the telephone call that reframed everything instantly. “You have cancer,” said the voice on the other end of the line. By February I hope to be in remission and ready to begin my first sabbatical.
Posted by Pamela at December 1, 2009 9:00 AM| Share on Facebook |