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June 26, 2011

Is fame the ultimate reward?

We live in a society that often awards personal achievement with a higher level of exposure...and scrutiny. As leaders use ideas to shape our environment they are subjected to judgement based not just on merit, but also on the individual. Brilliance may be weighed against the most personal aspects of private life, including attire, relationships and even physical appearance. Is fame an unavoidable by-product of determination and good work? What is the true value of recognition and publicity?

Share your ideas and help shape the dialogue in a meaningful way. Your contribution makes all the difference in building a stronger community. Remember, participation is caring.

06.14.11 / 12:23 AM
Last week we had the good fortune to attend the AIGA BoNE show, where the winners of our "Love & Creativity" poster set were recognized for their awesome contributions. While happily wandering through a beautiful selection of industry-leading work we rubbed elbows with a handful of "famous" creative people. They have inspired us and fellow creatives to work harder and think deeper, and challenge each of us to be better thinkers. Which lead us to wonder: what's the value of recognition?

Are years of consideration and skilled practice rewarded with an opportunity to shape the present and future creative environment? Can the recognition be used to better the relationship we have with our work? And most importantly, what can we do to say "Thank You" to those who have made our lives more intellectually rich by sharing their ideas and perspectives on design / creativity / life?

(scratches head)
06.14.11 / 9:54 AM
I think it is important to differentiate "fame" and "recognition". Fame is not something I strive for. Recognition, on the other hand, can be very meaningful when in the right context. I will expand on this further... after work hours. :)
06.14.11 / 1:05 PM
What is the true value of recognition and publicity? Having a platform to advance your agenda (superficial or profound). Fame is not the ultimate reward, but it can be a handy tool if used to inspire others to action. Yes, the other side of the coin is higher scrutiny – but I think we ought to expect more from our (political, creative, social) leaders, and they should demand more from themselves. Ideally, if fame is an unavoidable by-product of good work, then it should also motivate the famous to keep aspiring to loftier expressions of their craft and positive influence on their environment/communities.
06.15.11 / 12:43 AM
@melissa - While I agree with your statements about a platform to advance thoughts and ideas as a result of public recognition I end up questioning the way our society bestows the "honor" of fame. I feel like a "pop culture mentality" has changed the way we honor those whose political, creative and social ideas make our lives more rich. Is this caused by a lack of respect? Or has accessibility due to excessive technology and new means of communication forever changed our ability as social beings to idealize thought-leaders?

Trying to spark a bit of conversation here, and will be back to more personal thought on the idea of recognition and fame (when it's not 1:42 AM and I'm thinking a little more clearly).
06.16.11 / 12:12 AM
I agree with @melissacolab........"What is the true value of recognition and publicity? Having a platform to advance your agenda (superficial or profound)."

Attracting better projects, clients and opportunities has been the true value of recognition.
06.17.11 / 4:26 PM
I generally agree with you, Melissa. And I wish I could agree with the ideal that fame is the inevitable byproduct of good work. However, it takes self-promotion. Sometimes, self-promotion alone can get you on the map with no skin at all in the good work game. The difference between the value of Fame and Recognition is an interesting one to me Constanza. Seems like with recognition, you are given the latitude to do stuff other folks don't get to do. With fame: you get a pulpit that influences others to do. I know this little design firm that is pretty well recognized, but the influence is limited at best. I wonder what would happen if some of that recognition were converted to "fame". I wonder what would happen to its reach and to the firm itself.

Ditto with getting back to this discussion when I'm relaxed enough to take a risk... I think I have a very pro-fame message cooking and I want to be sure I get it out right.
06.20.11 / 1:39 AM
The design is bigger than the work.
06.26.11 / 5:37 PM
there are folks in this world who are famous and in an ideal scenario, they would all be good role models, good people and use their power for good. unfortunately people who are famous aren't always good and may have become famous because they are just that, bad.

the responsibility is also on us. the ones that elevate these people to fame status. if people are allowed to become famous for being bad, then the fault is on us. maybe if we asked and acted as if we wanted to be inspired by brilliance we would be instead of allowing knuckleheads and good self-promoters to bask in the limelight.

power to the people.


We'll post the topic to start the conversation. Where it goes is up to you.

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