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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 012218 — Lois Farfel Stark

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We are so pleased to welcome main-street mystic Lois Farfel Stark to the #sparkchamber today. Lois is a global explorer, pattern seeker, and inveterate abstract thinker who looks for the symbolic even when there is none. An Emmy-awarded documentary filmmaker formerly with NBC News, she filmed in Abu Dhabi, Israel, Liberia, Cuba, Northern Ireland, and throughout the USA. She has produced and written independent films on architecture, medical research, globalization, and artists. 

Her most recent efforts ponder the timeless question, “How do we humans make sense of the world?” and she looks for clues hiding in plain sight — through shape itself. She talks about it in her TEDxSMU talk Shape: Hiding in Plain Sight.

And … drumroll please … her latest book, The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times, “a stunning synthesis of civilization’s changing mindsets, a brilliantly original perspective urging you to re-envision history not as a story of kings and wars but through the lens of shape. In this sweeping tour through time, Stark takes us from migratory humans, who imitated a web in round-thatched huts and stone circles, to the urban ladder of pyramids and skyscrapers, organized by hierarchy and measurements, to today’s world of interconnected networks. In The Telling Image, Stark reveals how buildings, behaviors, and beliefs reflect humans’ search for pattern and meaning. We can read the past and glimpse the future by watching when shapes shift. Stark’s beautifully illustrated book asks of all its readers: See what you think.”

The book will be released on February 6, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon.

For more of Lois Farfel Stark, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

Ideas pack tightly in our mind, with their hands raised, waiting to be called on. They wave their hands wildly just after you wake, in a shower, driving alone, looking out the window, or when you straightforwardly ask in a polite tone for them to reveal themselves.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

When I was 8 years old I lay awake composing a letter to the United Nations, explaining why it was silly to go to war. I thought if I could get my words right, they would understand its silliness. Still working on it.

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare?

Definitely a night owl. The day is crammed with noise, interruptions, and measured hours. The quiet night lets you listen to yourself. I am both a hare ready to jump on a thousand ideas at once and a tortoise stubborn enough to manifest one or two of those ideas.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

I’m never ‘done.’ Projects conclude, though ideas from former projects seep into the next one. I look back and see the same questions dancing round and round, questions too big to answer, too big to ignore.