Georgianna Stout

In just over four weeks time, Semi Permanent arrives in town to inspire our shrivelled winter minds. It’s a festival of creative thought and ideas, drawing speakers from a range of creative disciplines all over the world. The packed speaker line up includes the likes of Andrew Gordon, a director animator at Pixar, artist and designer Tomas Libertine, our own Kathryn Wilson, and Georgianna Stout – the Creative Director and co-founder of 2×4 design agency in New York – among many others. We asked her to share her words of wisdom in anticipation the event.

Tell us a little bit about what you do.
I’m a founding partner and creative director at 2×4, in New York City. My studio works on large scale branding projects that get expressed in multiple ways. My work is really to lead the projects, develop overarching concepts and direct the teams on the design work…that and of course all the other aspects of owning your own studio!

How did you get into this line of work?
I was always interested in Design, since I was young. I have always been interested in typography, color and form, but I didn’t really hone in on graphic design until I was at college. I had thought I wanted to go into fashion, but once I arrived in New York City, I saw clearly that I wasn’t going to enjoy that world. What I really gravitated towards was image making- in whatever form.

Your agency believes that thoughtful design can contribute to every level of cultural discourse, can you expand on that a little?
Well, design is a part of everything we do, every aspect of our lives is touched in some way by a person who is thinking about how that object should look, what it should communicate, what it should feel like. Being thoughtful about that work can impact the way you experience things (brands, events, places) in ways that make them more enjoyable or more meaningful somehow.

What’s been the proudest moment in your career to date?
I want to say it was when 2×4 won the National Design Award in 2006, but actually I think going to the white house last year to be a part of the NDA events and meeting Michelle Obama was pretty awesome!

Tell us a little bit about one project you’ve worked on at 2×4 that’s particularly close to your heart.
I think the Nike 100 project was one that was really rewarding to work on. It was one of the first full scale experiential projects that spanned across architecture, design, motion design, interaction and digtal design that I had a big part in. It was also my first big project in China. It was very hard to produce and it took a big team of us a few solid months of really hard work to produce it.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Use your secret weapon.

Who are your biggest influences?
I don’t have particular people out there that I look to or follow, but I do find a lot of inspiration in the art world, also in the industrial design world. Also, I’m hugely influenced by my children. It really changed my perspective on life to have these amazing intelligent creatures around me.

How do you define success?
Being happy to go to work every morning

Can you tell us your three favourite places to eat, drink and play in New York?
I’m kind of a Brooklyn all the way person now. I have two young-ish kids so I don’t go out and “play” a lot at night. If I have the chance, I love to wander into Chinatown and find a local place to eat like Golden Unicorn or Shanghai 456. But I probably would prefer eating on my roof with friends. My favorite local drinking spot is Henry Public in Brooklyn, but I also had some lovely cocktails at the Smyth Hotel in Tribeca the other night. The game of choice for the New York designer set is Archery at BDDW, or Gotham Archery in Brooklyn.

Semi-Permanent will be held at Victory Convention Centre on 3rd-4th July. GET TICKETS >>