With the current buzz surrounding AIA's (American Institute of Architects) announcement of Pharrell Williams as one of the keynote speakers at the 2014 AIA National Convention in Chicago, I had to give everyone a review of his book, "Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've Been".
The book includes interviews with Zaha Hadid, Jay Z, Hans Zimmer (the mind behind Lion King's soundtrack), Masamichi Katayama of Wonderwall, Anna Winter and Kanye West and many others. In this collection of interviews edited by Ian Luna and Lauren A. Gould, Pharrell highlights his cross disciplinary approach to art, music and design to increase his engines of creativity and innovation. The interviews are saturated with information vital to the physique of a successful designer. In his interview with Zaha Hadid he asks a few questions which everyone in the field of architecture would like to know "Early in your career what was it like being a woman of color, breaking into a traditionally male-dominated profession?" The causal conversation that follows this opening question is epic, as Pharrell and Hadid agree to collaborate on the design of an affordable prefab house that will cost between 75k-100k. His sincerity and overall humbled approach to the interview process is genius.
Pharrell goes on to discuss his unveiling of "Inside Out" at Glasstress, an event at the 54th Venice Biennale and his invite from Marc Jacobs to design a collection of sunglassees for Louis Vuitton, deemed the "Millionaire" line one of his many design endevours with Louis Vuitton. Designer Masamichi Katayama summarizes his experiences working with Pharrell to design both the BBC and IceCream stores as:
Beside the high end luxury brands and superstar designers, Pharrell displays his compassion for Tokyo, a place he calls his second home as he visits to collaborate with various individuals from a variety of art disciplines to create a documentary, "Tokyo Rising" after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
"Tokyo is my second home, I find much inspiration here, from the people, from the culture. The way the Japanese regard matter, flesh, spirit and technology, to me, is unmatched."
If you enjoy any of the following, this book is for you, architecture, fine art, pop art, music, fashion design, skateboarding, eye-wear, social justice, branding, anime, furniture, jewelry, traveling, photography, hip hop, rap or astronauts, yes I said astronauts!
I hope that I can meet him while at the conference and have him sign my book!!!