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This is a presentation from a talk I gave at TedX Penn Quarter on July 11, 2010. It's based on an earlier presention I gave at Design Thinking Dallas about seven lessons that appy to designers that we can derive from the life and talents of John Hughes.It's best to watch the video that accompanies this presentation first.


Microsoft PowerPoint - Bernard_TedX_Fin_071110_v2

Reinventing DesignChris Bernard, Microsoft

Photography licensed from iStockPhoto, except where indicated


Saul Bass Jay DoblinPiet Mondrian

Walter Gropius

Dieter Rams Charles and Ray Eames

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Paul Rand

John Maeda

Irene Au

Bill Moggridge Jenny Lam

Valerie Casey

Bill Buxton

Johnny Chung Lee

Blaise Aguera y Arcas

Source: Wikipedia

Seven Ideas


A balanced design vision

Source: Unstuck

A discombulated design vision

Source: Unstuck


You know that assignment you always get in high school when youre reading Walden, to keep a journal? he said in a 1988 interview. Well, I just kept doing that.

Source: Sweet Bard of Youth, Vanity Fair, David Kamp

At some point, Hughes stopped and looked around, and he realized that he didnt want to make movies anymore. He wanted to be at liberty to spend as much time with his family as he pleased, to work the farm he owned 75 miles northwest of Chicago, and to exult in the resolutely uncoastal ethos of his beloved Midwest.

Source: Sweet Bard of Youth, Vanity Fair, David Kamp


Source: Sara Summers

Source: Sara Summers


Source: Sara Summers


Source: Charles and Ray Eames

Source: Sara Summers

Source: Bill Buxton with a few modifications by Chris Bernard


Hughes, his sons say, reveled in grandfatherhood; he relished the concept of growing old and shifting into the role of eccentric paterfamilias. Whereas, in the 80s, he had hewed faithfully to the fashion conventions of the time,

collecting expensive basketball shoes and wearing his hair in a rococo power mullet, in his last decade he pointedly dressed in a suit nearly every day

I think it bothered him that people his same age, of similar means, were wearing sweat suits and Twittering, said James. Though he still kept up with new musicHughes had been a legendarily voracious record buyer in the old days, admired by rock snobs for the acuity of his soundtrack pickshe now viewed it as his primary duty to be, in his younger sons words, the curious, engaged grandpa in the seersucker.

Source: Sweet Bard of Youth, Vanity Fair, David Kamp


And Hughes wanted the teen pictures to convey a sort of universal truth: that no age group takes itself more seriously than teenagers. At that age, he said, it feels as good to feel bad as it does to feel good. Every day has the potential to be the worst day ever, like Samanthas 16th birthday, or the best, like the day Ferris spends playing hooky.

Source: Sweet Bard of Youth, Vanity Fair, David Kamp

The first of the Shermer-teen scripts was the least jocular. It was called Detention. For Hughes, it was a mission as much as it was a movie. By dint of having gotten married so young, he and Nancy had spent the early years of their marriage in an unusual circumstance: they were closer in age to their teen neighbors than to the homeowning parents of those teens. I saw how their lives at 14 and 15 were different than mine had been. My

generation had sucked up so much attention, Hughes said, and here were these kids struggling for an identity. They were forgotten.

Source: Sweet Bard of Youth, Vanity Fair, David Kamp







Source: Sara Summers

Source: Sara Summers

Reinventing DesignChris Bernard, Microsoft