StefanSagmeister_2008_480_The power of time off.mp4
I run a design studio in New York. Every seven years I close it for one year to pursue some little experiments, things that are always difficult to accomplish during the regular working year. In that year we are not available for any of our clients. We are totally closed. And as you can imagine, it is a lovely and very energetic time.
I originally had opened the studio in New York to combine my two loves, music and design. And we created videos and packaging for many musicians that you know. And for even more that you've never heard of. As I realized, just like with many many things in my life that I actually love, I adapt to it. And I get, over time, bored by them. And for sure, in our case, our work started to look the same. You see here a glass eye in a die cut of a book. Quite the similar idea, then, a perfume packaged in a book, in a die cut. So I decided to close it down for one year.
Also is the knowledge that right now we spend about in the first 25 years of our lives learning. Then there is another 40 years that's really reserved for working. And then tacked on at the end of it are about 15 years for retirement. And I thought it might be helpful to basically cut off five of those retirement years and intersperse them in between those working years. (Applause) That's clearly enjoyable for myself. But probably even more important is that the work that comes out of these years flows back into the company, and into society at large, rather than just benefiting a grandchild or two.
There is a fellow TEDster who spoke two years ago, Jonathan Haidt, who defined his work into three different levels. And they rang very true for me. I can see my work as a job. I do it for money. I likely already look forward to the weekend, on Thursdays. And I probably will need a hobby as a leveling mechanism. In a career I'm definitely more engaged. But at