What is your ideal office?
Close to home. Plenty of space for my children to play around so they don’t feel that they “disturb Dad’s work.” A place where you enjoy being and feels like your second home. Nature and a view is absolutely important for me. Good to be reminded that something is bigger and older than human-made offices.
What is an object that has made a remarkable impression on you?
A football (not the American kind). I try to play football with local boys in all countries I visit. It’s amazing that such an ancient and simple object as a ball still has the power to bring people together and makes us smile and laugh, regardless of social status, skin color or religion. Especially when you think of how much money and technology is invested in weapons and gadgets.
What was the last profound experience you shared? When I met the Palestinian people during our first trip to the West Bank. Some people label them as terrorists and barbaric animals but they were the most warm and kind people we’ve ever met. When you think of the situation they live in, it was mind-blowing and so inspiring to experience their friendliness, hospitality and an amazing sense of humor. It’s important to be able to tell a good joke when you live under occupation. At the same time young Palestinians are some of the most well-educated people we’ve met. Making friends with the Palestinian people has changed our way of looking at life. No matter how much one group of people try to control and suppress another, you can never control the human spirit.
How do you live an uncommon life?
Who decides what is a common or an uncommon life? Every life is unique and irreplaceable. If common or uncommon is decided by majority or minority, then I belong to the minority. Many people where I live are extremely self -serving, paranoid, stressed, Islamophobic, greedy, vain and ignorant. My brother and I were brought up in a Buddhist family and we were taught that personal happiness cannot be achieved without collective happiness.
What is your greatest mistake thus far? Every time I’ve lied or hurt someone’s feelings. I don’t have one great mistake but I have made many big mistakes. I want to have the courage to make mistakes, but I do my utmost to avoid those that cause pain or suffering to others.
How is a person’s relationship with a product enhanced by knowing the product’s origin?
More and more people are becoming very conscious about how and where the things they buy are made. I think that it’s because some products are made in a way that damages our environment and some products are made in a more environmentally friendly way. But whether a person’s relationship is enhanced by knowing the product’s origin depends on their values.
Where can one find authentic craftsmanship? Wherever you live. As long as there are people there will always be authentic craftsmanship and culture.
Why is it important for us to be aware of the repercussions of our purchases?
Consumerism and our human desire to buy things will never change. It is also the root cause for the pollution and destruction of our natural environment. Unless we stop buying things (which is unrealistic) we have to be aware of what we buy and how it’s made.
How are you able to achieve a global workplace?
I believe that all modern workplaces are in a way global. As long as you have a phone or Internet you can connect to the whole world. You can also be global with pen and paper and a lot of postage stamps.
How does working with family affect your creative process?
I feel strong and alive when I’m with my family. I trust them with my life. I feel so privileged to be able to work with my wife and brother. It’s not easy to be truly creative when you feel weak or don’t trust the people you are working with. For us, creating humanistic value is true creativity, and creative power is something that is innate in all living things.