Filmed on October 9, 2015, at the 2015 AIGA Design Conference.
At first glance, one might get a chuckle out of the title. But this question is not quite what it seems. Opera believes that for a graphic designer, both parts of the question are of equal importance. Using recent projects to reflect this hypothesis, he explains why designers should be tinkerers with the concepts of scale, spectacle, and the speculative, which ultimately shape the decisions, desires, and choices of your audiences in the present and future.
Eddie Opara studied graphic design at the London College of Printing and Yale University, where he received his M.F.A. He began his career as a designer at ATG and Imaginary Forces and worked as an art director at 2x4 before establishing his own studio, The Map Office, in 2005. Five years later, Opara and The Map Office team joined Pentagram in New York.
Opara is a multi-faceted designer whose work encompasses strategy, design, and technology. His clients include the Menil Foundation, Studio Museum in Harlem, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Queens Museum of Art, Mori Art Museum, Vitra, Prada, St. Regis Hotels, Corcoran Group, Morgan Stanley, New York University, University of California, Los Angeles, Grimshaw Architects, Harry N. Abrams, and Princeton Architectural Press, among others.
Opara is the author of Color Works and has won numerous awards including a Gold Cube from the Art Directors Club and honors from AIGA D&AD and I.D. Magazine. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and has appeared in publications including Graphis and I.D. Magazine. He’s a visiting critic at the Yale School of Art and has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of the Arts Philadelphia. He’s member of the Alliance Internationale Graphique. In both 2012 and 2014 he was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and was featured in Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list.