Thursday, May 27, 2010

Important People

Yesterday was the birthday of my friend Jason Pfaeffle.

Jay and I met freshman year at Pratt Institute. Although he had yet to declare his major, it was obvious from the start that he was exceptionally talented - he could have chosen any course of study and succeeded. Jay's mind works in strange ways - actually everything about him is a little bit strange, and I mean this is the best sense possible. He sees the world in a way that is completely unique to him, and the art he makes is reflective of that. His work is clever, subtle, organic and also geometric, sophisticated yet accessible. Jay has about the biggest chance of changing industrial design of any one I know; maybe not in the up-ending way that some might imagine, but with the subtlety and sophistication that really ends up changing the way people go through their days. As the great furniture designer Jean-Michel Frank said, "The revolution will take place in millimeters, not centimeters."

One of the things that I appreciate most about Jay is how he pushes me to be better. He leads by example - always improving himself, moving forward, doing better work, trying new things. He never stops giving me a hard time about working harder and being focused, and as much as that frustrates me at times, it totally lights a fire under my butt. There's something to be said for people who force those around them to be better.

Jay, I'm glad you were born! Happy Birthday!

Jay jumping off the high platform at Schwanseebad Pool in Germany.

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