Airbnb Design—Talks

Season Two: When Chaos Is Your Creative Director

Categories: Events, Projects — Airbnb Design Editorial

Chaos (cha·os, noun): Complete disorder and confusion.

(For full poem transcript, click here.)

Airbnb Design—Talks is back and this season we’re exploring the challenges and triumphs of taking creative direction from chaos. In season one we examined what it means to be inside or outside of boundaries—an investigation that connected us with global boundary breakers spanning music, journalism, photography, fashion, and more. The question is, “Now what?” What happens immediately following a boundary-breaking moment such as Tommie Smith’s black power salute at the 1968 Olympics, 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?

There’s an observation intertwined with each symbolic breakthrough: chaos follows. And while the fog of chaos leaves some of us frozen, there are rare talents who can see clearly enough to activate and create. The truth is, some of the most profound literature, art, and social inventions stem from chaos. But how?

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos.”

-Mary Shelley

This season of Airbnb Design—Talks will serve as the stage for extraordinary people who overcome despite ambiguity, find rhythm in the disorder, and harness their creativity to positively impact their communities. From a crisis negotiator to an improv artist and jazz musician, we’ll navigate a wide range of chaos—the environmental, social, digital, emotional, and political.

Why this topic? Why now? Because chaos is inevitable. Because we live in a world of political unrest, health crises, and questionable ethical tech, and design plays a critical role in addressing these global challenges.

So how do they harness it, thrive within it? Our goal is to inspire you—to provide actionable insights and tools, and help you transform chaos into creative fuel.

Season two will begin with Hostage Negotiator Rudy Granados. RSVP here.

Poem by spoken word artist Naomi Gabriel | Cover image by Meredith Schomburg


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