Listen as Tanner talks about how he uses his passion to make life better through a personal anecdote about a big move in his life.
(upbeat music) - [Narrator] And I think design is bigger than that as well. I think design is... I say this often, but I believe that design is the fundamental improvement of the human condition. At its core design is about making life better for everybody through small decisions, through small acts. You don't make design better through sort of opening of a profit through... But opening a community based organization, I think for large scale corporations, international organizations. Everybody has a responsibility to make our time on this planet better. The time after we're off this planet better. And that's what design is. And that's what design has the power to do. (upbeat music) So I ended up moving back to Chicago, in 2012. Must have been 2011 maybe... 2011. Because the Design Museum was in 2011. So I moved back in 2011. In that year, your former mother was Diagnosed Colon Cancer. - Mmm. - As I moved home to be closer to her. It was a very selfish decision, at a time when I was doing a lot professionally in Arizona, and it was the best decision I think I ever made. ( upbeat music) - Why a Design Museum in Chicago? - That's great question. Why not? And that's... (laughing) - And that's also a great question. - We didn't know it was going to be a Design Museum. So what happened was I came back here for mom. And also I worked at Morningstar, so I got a great offer. Morningstar... I worked there for about four years and then worked on the Design Museum on the side. One year, must have been in 2012, called six friends over to my apartment, and we had a conversation about what Chicago needs. So is it a design museum? Is it a magazine? Is it a blog? Is it events, workshops, lecture, I mean, there is... We had this long conversation, about all the things that it could be - Sure - Eventually I realized that after three months of talking and planning, that Chicago is very culturally rich. And there isn't a Design Museum, but there's a very strong design community. And we were, at the time, the six of us were Graphic designers. We were routed in AIGA. We also know that there was SCGD and AIA and IXTA and all of these acronyms. Not to count the schools, but there's a very rich design community here, and they're not really talking to one another. The graphic designer, they're talking to themselves. The architects are talking to themselves. And then nobody's really talking to the public unless you're serving the public, or you're building a building that they're going to work at over. That sort of thing. So we just saw an opportunity to connect those folks. That's a lot of ways to say to grease the wheels. And to get everybody really just sort of moving together and spend three months planning our first pop-up, which is crazy. So three months... I mean, raising the money, writing the contracts, deciding how many exhibitions we're going have, how big the space we needed to host those exhibitions, deciding that we needed a store, figuring out how to do point of sale, then figuring out who's going to sell in the store. And all of that work. It was really, really intense and we all had full time jobs. So it was the smallest we'd ever, ever been. We raised I think $15,000 at the time, spent all of that and then raised some money in the space as well. And then spent that money to do fundraising events for local organizations and I think about it right now. So it's really just a case study in and in learning about the community and learning what the community needs. We very quickly learned that not only is a Design Museum desired here, it's needed here. We had 1000 people at the opening party and 500 people came throughout the month. And this was in Humboldt Park across from the impound, bolt holes in the windows-- - Yeah - No parking, no trains, and 500 people still found us including people that traveled to Chicago specifically to see the show. It was really exciting. - It's very exciting. - Exciting might be an understatement. - [Both] Yeah. (laughing) - Changed everything. Mom died 24 hours before we opened the doors. - My grandfather-- - I'm sorry. - Thank you. My grandfather two months prior, my niece two months later, and then I got divorce two months after that. So life got real (chuckles) very quick. - Wow. - And so I wasn't around because she passed so soon to us opening the doors. I wasn't around for two or three weeks before we opened the doors. Which meant, in retrospect, ended up being a really important thing for the museum. The community flooded in to help us. They flooded in to open the doors, to figure out where the works go and figure out, you know, when the events are, figuring out all of that minutiae. And minutiae is also probably the wrong word, but through that process, the community became part of our DNA. And I was sort of alluding to this earlier, but the community became the reason that we existed, but also our driving force. And that was really exciting. And that hasn't changed. So even though we've scaled up now and we have staff and we have shows all year round, we're not just a one month pop up, we still rely very heavily on the community for every aspect of the organization. So there's a lot of positivity comes from these things. And you have to you, you don't realize that in the moment, you realize that after the fact. (upbeat music)
This course was created by Justin Ahrens. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.