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David Carlson

“I’m not particularly interested in ‘design,’” says David Carlson, a man who has spent much of his career focused on the subject. “I see it as more of a cultural thing.” After opening David Design, a furnishings boutique in Sweden, he created the David Report, a semiannual forecast about issues affecting the industry, and founded Designboost, a forum for sharing knowledge on the field’s future.

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Ideal working environment:
I live in a small coastal community in the southernmost part of Sweden, and I go down to the beach and work there, or in the garden. The best ideas pop up when you’re not sitting behind a desk. It’s a luxury for me, to have that kind of freedom.
Re-evaluation:
It’s a problem in the industry that people are so business-oriented, focused on numbers and Excel spreadsheets. I understand that companies have to deliver results, but it seems they’ve lost the human touch.

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A book:
Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite by Paul Arden. It’s mostly images—–you can read it in a day—–but it’s really mind-opening.
A movie:
My all-time favorite movie is Blazing Saddles. I’m the annoying one who will say lines along with the film.
An album:
One of the greatest albums ever is David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. I was only ten when it came out.
Modern extravagance:
In Europe, time is the new luxury.
Dream job:
I have a thing for breeding roses, and I like to bake sourdough bread. Maybe I’ll drop everything and pursue my rock ’n’ roll career with my band, the Happy Four.
Hero:
My parents made me who I am. They had big hearts, which is definitely the most 
important thing.
The next generation:
Now that there is more awareness of environmental problems, I think it will be standard to be sensitive and responsive. New generations will grow up in this new climate and react to it.
Overused buzzword:
“Design” is actually one I don’t want to hear.
Looking forward to:
Spending time on my roses. What else allows you to wait six or seven years to be rewarded? Il dolce far niente—–the sweetness of doing nothing. Some may call it idleness or inactivity, but I think of it as being contemplative.
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