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Airbnb Design — Talks

Our second season of Airbnb Design—Talks explores the challenges and triumphs of having chaos as your creative director. Season one examined what it means to be inside or outside of boundaries—an investigation of artists who use their crafts to break boundaries and connect communities.

Our question is, “Now what?” What happens immediately following a boundary-breaking moment such as the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage by The New York Times that released the floodgates of the #MeToo movement? From a hostage negotiator to an improv artist, season two spotlights people who embrace ambiguity, activate, and create in chaos.

Negotiating Chaos Poster

01 — Negotiating Chaos

Rudy Granados, Crisis Negotiator and Police Officer June 14, 2018 —San Francisco, CA

When it comes to moments of uncertainty and chaos, the stakes don’t get much higher than crisis negotiation. Officer Rudy Granados’s upbringing and experience make him distinctly qualified for the task. Challenging childhood circumstances and early experiences being racially profiled by police officers have prepared him to remain calm in any situation—even suicide prevention and hostage negotiation.

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The Duality of Chaos Poster

02 — The Duality of Chaos

Julie Brister, Improvisor and Actor August 21, 2018 — San Francisco, CA

Picture this: you’re on stage with a small group of actors as the audience shouts prompts for a scene you’re about to spin up from thin air. There’s no direction or script. The only rule? You have to say yes, and build on whatever your stagemates have contributed. It’s thrilling and chaotic, maybe even a little bit terrifying. It’s improv—the chosen world of Julie Brister.

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Chaos at Play

03 — Chaos at Play

David OReilly, Artist and Video Game Designer October 16, 2018 — San Francisco, CA

When MoMA added video games to its permanent collection, critics came calling. But if art is an interpretation of our reality, it’s hard to argue that these visual and interactive works aren’t period pieces of our time. David OReilly is an artist whose mediums span animation, film, and writing. His works—including the first video game to be eligible for an Oscar—grapple with how we understand and interact with the chaotic world around us.

This talk wasn't recorded at the request of the artist.

Breaking the Conventional Poster

04 — Breaking the Conventional

Shuhei Aoyama, Architect October 27, 2018 — Beijing, China

Beijing hutongs may not seem like a usual source of inspiration, but that’s exactly where Japanese Architect Shuhei Aoyama found it. For 10 years he immersed himself in hutong culture—where multigenerational families extend their homes into communal spaces such as grocery stores and parks. By putting a modern twist on traditional living, Shuhei is minimizing the home’s footprint and maximizing common areas to connect people of all backgrounds.

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Puzzling Chaos Poster

05 — Puzzling Chaos

David Kwong, Enigmatist and Crossword Puzzle Constructor March 26, 2019 - San Francisco, CA

While most of us spend our days in search of solutions, Kwong has made a career of creating new problems. A mastermind of illusion, Kwong is a magic consultant for a variety of hit shows and designs daily crossword puzzles for the New York Times. His talk is an expedition into the mind of a chaos maker—the art of encryption, creativity within constraints, and the process for designing magic.

Video launching 4/22

Chaos of Self Examination Poster

06 — Chaos of Self Examination

Julia Bullock, Vocalist April 29th 2019 - San Francisco, CA

We conclude season two on a high note with Julia Bullock, a vocalist who's shaking up the opera world. As her professional momentum began to accelerate, a moment of crisis unleashed itself during a crowning operatic performance six years ago. Our evening begins at that critical point in time and takes you on her inner voyage through criticism, creative block, and regenerating impeded creativity.

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