Brendan Halbish

Design Director

What are the three books you love and why?

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. The book itself is printed on tree-free paper that is 100% recyclable using little energy. This is a visionary book that made me rethink what it means to design, produce and live in abundance within a sustainable model. The authors, an Architect and a Chemist, put forth an invigorating framework to reinvent the way we design and build things. Since then the framework has evolved into a certification system and now many products around the world feature this label.

The Power of others: Peer Pressure, Groupthink, and How the People Around Us Shape Everything We Do by Michael Bond is a timely book which explains the mechanisms, power and perils of group think and the power of influence. It touches on past psychological experiments such as the Stamford Prison Experiment, The Third Wave Experiment and others, but then takes a sharp analytical eye to more recent media events, popular culture, politics and sport.

The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise, a Narrative of Travel with Studies of Man and Nature by Alfred Russel Wallace. I love reading chronicles of early European naturalist exporters and Wallace is the ultimate of underdogs and an unsung pioneer of the Theory of Evolution. Covering the largest part of his 14,00 mile journey, where he collected over 125,000 species only to write the most humble of letters to Darwin, telling him of a little theory he had around the origin of species.

How do you keep up with change?

Keeping up with change is all about the kind of information you consume. There ’ s a lot of noise being put out into the world and I like to think of consuming information the same as food. A good, wholesome balanced diet, free from unnatural processing will ensure a healthy knowledge bank and lead to wiser decisions for the future.

Tell us about one of your passions.

Sustainability is a huge passion of mine. Growing up, my superheros were David Suzuki and Attenborough. Watching them on screen and reading them in print has spurred a life long interest in the impact human activity has on the world, and I believe as a designer, it’s imperative to consider the social and environmental implications of what I produce.