Q & A With Hunter Tura
Design firm CEO sees creative and influential future for young designers
Hunter Tura is president and CEO of Bruce Mau Design, a firm whose client roster includes Coca-Cola, Prada and AT&T. In April 2016, Tura spoke to an audience of 300 Saskatchewan Polytechnic students and instructors, as well as high school design students, about the future of design. The Saskatoon event was broadcast to all campuses as part of the #SaskPolytechTalks series.
Tura’s ideas will resonate with anyone who takes a hands-on approach to creating the future.
SPM: What led you to the design field?
HT: I studied to be a historian and found I was hardly professor material. I trained to be an architect and come from a family involved in building trades, so design was a way to combine creativity and art with real-world concerns.
SPM: What do designers have to look forward to?
HT: Well, it’s such an amazing time to be alive! New fields will emerge that were completely untapped in the previous century: permanent settlements on the moon and Mars, space tourism, robotics that replace entire models of industrial production, and significant societal and cultural changes. Being a designer is like being a fiction writer. We present fictions using our imagination, and then do the work to make them come true.
SPM: What do you think of Saskatoon?
HT: In New York, the mythology is that it’s such a creative place because people come from all over the world to drive that engine.
In Saskatoon, the creative energy of a thriving local community exists because people decided to stay. It’s exciting to see a different model than what I’ve been used to.
SPM: Any advice for future designers?
HT: Check your ego at the door. We need to get past the 20th century model of thinking that the designer is a singular artist and if they compromise that vision they are a corporate sellout. We need to be nimble in how we think and listen to others, to be able to admit we don’t know the answers and propose how to figure them out. Design is no longer a sequestered discipline. We can have great influence over social and political conditions.
Hunter Tura speaking to students at the Saskatoon campus, Idylwyld Dr.