“Sometimes it’s cool to be uncool for a while” – Tony Chambers
Barely Time To Blink, Let Alone Think
Interview: Tony Chambers has been Wallpaper* creative director since January 2003. Prior to this he was art director of the UK edition of GQ magazine for six years. He was voted ‘Art Director of the Year’ in 1998 and 2001.
Key Facts on WALLPAPER*
* Founded 1996
* International Design and Interiors Lifestyle Magazine.
* Wallpaper* is sold in over 70 countries.
Q: Why do you think TIME TO THINK is a good theme for the conference?
Tony Chambers: In our world of instant global communication, there is barely time to blink, let alone think. It is imperative to find time for consideration: resist the pressure to be carried by the flow.
Q: How do you work with trends at Wallpaper*?
Tony Chambers: At Wallpaper* we have to communicate all new trends to our readers but to carefully edit them to fit in with the Wallpaper* aesthetic. However, the most important element of Wallpaper* is that it sets trends and looks at what’s happening next, as well as now.
Q: Has Wallpaper* always worked with trends in the same way?
Tony Chambers: In a sense, yes but the very nature of trends requires one to think about them in different ways.
Q: How do you get new ideas and refresh your thinking?
Tony Chambers: New ideas are garnered through travel, exposure to a vast variety of cultural channels, talking to people, and seeing rather than simply looking. And by cycling.
Q: What lifestyle changes do you think will be most important in the years to come?
Tony Chambers: A continued blurring of the boundaries between the office and the home, between work and leisure. In the West we will see a shift towards – and the continuing rise of – the creative industries, and a shift in manufacturing industries towards the East.
Q: In 2004 Wallpaper* got the cool brand mark in CoolBrandLeaders – how come?
Tony Chambers: Wallpaper* had refreshed its ideas over the preceding two years and was therefore recognised again as an iconic brand.
Q: Wallpaper has managed to become a global lifestyle magazine leader – what is the secret behind this impressive success and can it continue?
Tony Chambers: Wallpaper* got there first with its seminal editorial direction. The secret of its success is its ability to continually evolve.
Q: Can I get a speed conclusion?
Tony Chambers: As we live longer, and the boundaries between work and leisure continue to merge, ‘quality of life’ becomes increasingly more important.
Interview: Questions by Kjaer Global for the Time to Think Conference, December 2005
1. Wallpaper* magazine
2. Tony Chambers
Anne Lise is a futurist and keynote speaker working across the world