Debbie Millman | Audio

Alexander Isley

Alexander Isley is a designer and educator. He founded Alexander Isley Inc. in 1988.

Alex has taught at the School of Visual Arts and The Cooper Union. Since 1996 he has been a critic and lecturer at the Yale School of Art. His work is in the collections of the National Design Museum, The Library of Congress and MoMA. His firm is the recipient of a Federal Design Achievement Award.

He was an inaugural member of “The ID 40,” a survey of the nation’s most influential design innovators. In 1998 Alex was accepted to Alliance Graphique Internationale. He is past president of AIGA New York.

In this audio interview with Debbie Millman, Alexander Isley discusses his mom the "Grammar Slammer," the importance of being in-over-your-head, learning presentation from Tibor Kalman, the effort it takes to make things seem effortless, Spy Magazine, shameless self-promotion, salt-free potato chips and believing that people are inherently good.

Posted in: Design Matters

Comments [2]

I especially liked the conversation around getting in over your head. I have that same feeling of dread Alex describes when starting anything new -- that this will be my worst disaster, the worst thing I've ever done. Very inspiring and enlightening. Thank you both.
Pam Williams

~ I was so afraid I might end a sentence in a preposition...that I almost did not leave a comment :>)
In CT, we all feel so close to Alex from his generosity attending and speaking .. so I felt the need to ramble on about ALEX...( my other bad habit )
I can really relate to "the attitude/ gumption one must have to present to a client !
At the end of the day ... a lot of clients don't have any idea of all the hard work and efforts of what designers do.
Logical decisions that lead should seem Effortless ~ is a great take away !
I am going to try and copy some Alex-isms !
Thanks once again Alex ...and Debbie .....and Design Observer.
Lee H. Moody

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