Friday Five with Brooks T. Atwood

By Caroline Williamson

No stranger to the digital pages of Design Milk, multi-hyphenate and always entertaining Brooks T. Atwood, IDSA, IIDA, has switched it up in recent times. The once Brooklyn-based Atwood was the head of his eponymous, multi-disciplinary design studio before swapping coasts and landing in sunny Los Angeles with his wife and 2-year-old son (all three win in the hair department!). Now, the award-winning designer and educator brings his keen perspective to R&A Architecture + Design, where he’s the Director of Design and will no doubt be rocking the design boat in the best possible way. On top of being named one of six emerging designers in 2013 by the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City, his design-focused TEDx talks, “Collaborative Opportunities are Everywhere” and “Design Like You Mean It!” are something not to be missed. For this week’s Friday Five, we check back in with the lovable Atwood to see just what keeps his creativity piqued these days.

Photo courtesy of Beyoncé

1. Music
Life cannot (and should not) exist without the beat and rhythm of music and because I love to dance especially with my wife and 2-year-old son (aka “happy dance”). The album We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service by A Tribe Called Quest and the visual album Lemonade by Beyoncé are visionary work. Whockah.

Photo by Cory Kennedy

2. Sound (and Light) Baths by Aliens
The out-of-this-world Integratron is a magical place in Joshua Tree (the desert) created by an insane-ly amazing man who was communicated to by aliens to build this structure which you can go and visit and be immersed in a sound bath (at sunset if you can time it right). It’s totally worth it. And if you really want to have your mind blown by aliens, go go go to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM. Oompah.

Photo © Tomiaki Tamura

3. Weird Architectural Utopian Masterpieces
My family (wife and 2-year-old!) drove across the USA from Brooklyn to LA and we encountered many incredible sights. Notwithstanding a run-in with the infamous Bandidos Motorcycle Club, we lost our minds at a place called El Cosmico in Marfa, TX (the desert and middle of frickin’ nowhere) and a wonderfully unique communal architectural utopia called Arcosanti in Arizona (which also casts bronze bells). Ding.

4. Netflix
Sometimes something so delicious comes along that captivates your attention, imagination and curiosity that you can’t look away. The OA and Stranger Things are like playing with silly putty as a kid. Weird, strange, fun, can spend hours playing with and always creating new forms. Squish.

5. Ideas
Ideas are my life’s blood. The NASA poop challenge tops the cake. These are the 5 most important problems we need to solve. DARPA makes a device to clean water using salt and a car battery. Our synthetic future will 3D print human organs. Whockah.

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