“Visceral Encounters with our Most Important Ideas”

30 x 90 – “Smallest Change” Toppel Career Center – University of Miami 2014

30 x 90 – “Smallest Change” Toppel Career Center – University of Miami 2014

We really admire Alan de Botton’s view on the power of art – to paraphrase his great 2011 TED Talk: It is ridiculous that art be simply for art’s sake, art should be used to remind us if what there is to love, hate and fear- art should be a visceral encounter with your most important ideas.

Apply those simple ideas to business, education and society more broadly, it becomes apparent that we overlook a huge opportunity to shift mindsets, spread ideas and broadcast what matters. Instead of creating visceral encounters, we are surrounded by landscapes, seascapes, random abstracts, and hipster froth.

 We had this in mind when we headed down to the new University of Miami, Toppel Career Center in December to meet its Executive Director, Christian Garcia. He is a man on a mission to connect graduates with careers; the Center is that jumping-off point where student life concludes and new horizons begin.


The Fabulous Maria Tomaino grocking Blaze New Trails

The Fabulous Maria Tomaino grocking Blaze New Trails

A quick six weeks later, we are happy to announce that we have completed the installation of the largest “Hughseum “ in the country. Nearly 80 images, all on infused aluminum plates, ranging in size up to nearly 3ft x 9ft. The entire space is curated by topic, so for example, employer/student interview rooms have images that talk about possibility, careers, and purpose. While other areas are themed to encourage creativity, inspiration and innovation.

When we think about the power of art in context – to inspire, delight and inform, to be didactic in honor of a bigger idea, the beginning of a new life, we realize this incredible power of art.

Second Floor Lecture Hall

Second Floor Lecture Hall

In the coming weeks, UMiami will be setting up a page to display the art and we will be setting up guided tours for small groups. Friday was the grand opening ceremony with UM President Donna Shalala and the board, so we’ll be sharing some of the pics from the event.

Jason Korman

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark