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Mindful : February 2018
Waiting and hoping for a “perfect” opportunity won’t get you any closer to the life you want. According to two renegade designers, you already have the tools to create that life—from wherever you are right now. By Hugh Delehanty It was just lunch, Dave Evans told himself. Just a conversation. Evans was a tall, smooth- talking Silicon Valley jack-of-all-trades with a resume that included heading up the team that designed Apple’s first mouse and cofounding the video game giant Electronic Arts. Lately, he’d been teaching a popular course at the University of California, Berkeley, on navigating life after college, and was wondering if his friend Bill Burnett, the newly appointed executive director of Stanford’s Design Program, would be inter- ested in doing something similar there. A thoughtful, no-nonsense design geek, Burnett had a similarly wide-ranging portfolio. As an undergraduate at Stanford, he’d gotten swept up in the human-centered design move- ment, a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to engineering that had revolutionized product design in the ’70s. Over the course of his career, he’d created award-winning designs for Apple’s Powerbook and the original Star Wars action figures, as well as helping launch several suc- cessful tech startups. Evans thought it would take a year of lunches to win Burnett over, but as soon as he laid out his scheme, Bill started peppering him with ideas about how to add design principles into the mix. “This problem has been walking into my office for the past 20 years,” he said. “Why don’t we put together a prototype of the course this summer and launch it in the fall?” What emerged in the months that followed was a new way of thinking about life and work that, like so many other Silicon Valley innova- tions, turned conventional wisdom on its head. The fundamental question that Bill and Dave wanted to address was: How do you build a life that works for you? And it turned out that their → IS YOUR LIFE DESIGNED OR YOU F ? ILLUSTRATIONSBYISTOCK.COM/ROYYIMZY February 2018 mindful 59 vision