Michael Ellsworth: Behind the Scenes and #BeyondDesign

Elizabeth Latenser | 10.17.18

Michael Ellsworth is co-founder and principal of the Seattle-based and internationally recognized design firm Civilization. Civilization specializes in building identity systems, digital experiences, printed materials, environmental graphics and exhibitions that are engaging, empathetic, and sustainable, and create meaningful connections. This week Civilization is being honored at The National Design Awards program which celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world.

You can hear Michael and his colleague and Civilization co-founder Gabriel Stromberg interview design legends and leaders on the podcast Beyond This Point which will be recording from BendDesign on October 25 and October 26. On the podcast, they dig deep into topics ranging from the impact of design activism, to staying true to your ethics, to the evolution of color, and more.  Its a fascinating listen for anyone – not just designers.

We flipped the script and got to ask a chance to ask Michael a few lighthearted questions for a change.   His answers might surprise you:

Who is your hero?
Tibor Kalman

 

Quote to live by?
“A designer’s role is a role of good citizenship” – Milton Glaser

 

Favorite instagram account?
@DrawDownBooks

 

What are you reading for fun right now?
Dear Client by Bonnie Siegler

 

What is always in your carry on when you travel?
Earplugs

Where are 3 places you always go when you host people in your city?
The Olympic Sculpture Park, Tamarind Tree and Join Design Shop

 

Favorite musical?
Here Lies Love by David Byrne

 

Your super power?
Party planning

 

How do you spend your last $5 in a foreign country?
Local Candy

 

Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune?
Wheel of Fortune, I have even auditioned in the past.

 

What are you most looking forward to doing in Bend during BendDesign?
Hanging out with April Greiman

 

Anything else we should know about you?
I am colorblind