My Inspirations

jump to Cars, Artists and Designers, Friends, Places, Films, Things

I’m still very much a car guy…

The Gina concept car is the car that made me rethink BMW. It’s a masterpiece of engineering and innovative thinking.

I very much wish the BMW i3 that shipped was more like the concept car.
From the first moment, the Model S was the first car I’ve ever driven that felt like—finally—the future. Now, I drive a Model 3.

I will likely always love the Isdera Spyder. I still wish to have a “four-wheeled motorcycle.”

Probably the first car I fell in love with. I was in high school and all I could afford, of course, was the owner’s manual (which I still have somewhere).

If I ever had a car collection, it would be of the “people cars” and this would be the first exhibit. Up until the year 2000, more Citröen 2CVs were produced than any other car in the world. I’d have the VW Beetle and Honda Civic in the collection, but neither of those is the same as the 2CV.




It’s not a car (of course) but anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing for the Concorde—and quite a collection. Before I went to school to study car design, I wanted to be an aerospace engineer.

Artists and Designers I admire…

Phillipe Starck

I’m fortunate to own a few pieces by Issey Miyake, including a tuxedo with shorts, and I get a thrill just walking into one of his shops to see what’s new. My parents took me to an exhibit at the SFMOMA when I was in high school which changed my concept of design and fashion.

Charles and Ray Eames are inspiring on so many levels but I still imagine lying in their Chaise, dreaming of new solutions.

Giorgetto Giugiaro is the car designer who made me realize that cars were more than merely their styling.

I was fortunate to grow-up influenced by this remarkable artist who’s work I’m also fortunate to fill my home with.

I came upon Tatsuo Miyjima’s work for the first time in an exhibition in the Pompidou. It was quiet, thoughtful, and powerful all at once.

Laurie Anderson redefined the idea of performance art.

Like the Lotus Esprit, the designs from Bang & Olufsen educated me about design when I was young. They’re visions continue to innovate the home media industry.

Call me a fanboy but Apple has changed the worlds of technology and design forever—and right from their start. All designers owe a tremendous debt to Steve Jobs for changing culture to better value design.

Madonna is the queen of reinvention and media savvy.

Buckminster Fuller was likely the first futurist and he put his ideas into practice, learning by building. His philosophies and observations about society, life, and the planet are just as applicable today as in his.

Paolo Soleri is another original designer and futurist who learned by building, even if his first arcology has yet to be finished.

Luigi Colani redesigns just about everything in his wild, crazy, stunningly beautiful and original way.

I would love to live in one of Syd Mead’s imagined universes—even Bladerunner.

Everything Frank Lloyd Wright imagined was original and thought-provoking but his Falling Water is still mesmerizing.

Richard Saul Wurman is one of my mentors. I started working with him in college at TheUnderstandingBusiness.

Paul Ekman is a fascinating researcher. I’ve met him a few times and his work was the basis for the FOX TV show Lie to Me.

Leonard Shlain wrote some of the most intriguing books I’ve read.

The person I most wished I’d met and had a meal with is Tibor Kalman.

Julie Taymor

Douglas Coupland

Noam Chomsky

Joshua Redmon


Mark Meadows

Debra Solomon

Maria Giudice

Abbe Don

Victoria Vitalie

Susanne Goldstein


Many more to add, of course…


To come…


Design-related movies:

The Information Machine (1958, Charles and Ray Eames)
Why Man Creates (1968, Saul Bass)
Powers of Ten (1978, Charles and Ray Eames)
Blade Runner (1982, Ridley Scott)
The Pillow Book (1996, Peter Greenaway)
The Fifth Element (1997, Luc Besson)
The Matrix (1999)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

more to come…



By no means am I the best chef but I do enjoy getting creative once in a while…



The Next Fifty Years edited by John Brockman
Tomorrow Now Bruce Sterling
The Third Wave, Heidi and Alvin Toffler
Building a Bridge to the 18th Century, Neil Postman
Natural Capitalism, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins
Cradle to Cradle, William McDonough and Michael Braungart
Sex, Time, and Power, Leonard Shlain

The Alphabet vs. The Goddess
 Leonard Shlain
Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain
Snowcrash, Neal Stephenson
Neuromancer, William Gibson
The Diamond Age, Neal Stephenson
Idoru, William Gibson
Generation XDouglas Coupland

MicroserfsDouglas Coupland
Godel Escher Bach, Douglas R. Hofstadter
Like Water for Chocolate (1993, Alfonso Arau)
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Genome by Matt Ridley


Books about unusual Languages:

Babel-17Samuel R. Delany
The Embedding, Ian Watson
The Languages of Pao, Jack Vance