Interview with Matt Brown...
We are cruising, aren't we! Today we have a jive interview. With Facebook going public in all, I am happy that we have this interview as it is slightly connected. Matt Brown is a communication designer at Facebook, and the founder of a great design studio called Things That Are Brown. Matt was kind enough to answer my questions about Facebook, and himself!
Q. How/when/why did you get involved with designing?
A. Oh man, I've been thinking about this a lot recently. Most of my early interest in design comes from my dad. He ran a custom furniture design business when I was young, and he used to show me these lushly designed annual reports from Disney and old product brochures from Herman Miller and Knoll. We'd talk a lot about design's impact on the world. He even tried to get me hooked on Buckminster Fuller. Technology drew me deeper into design. My family bought our first computer when I was 12, and I dove in. I "broke it" countless times and then slowly learned how to use it. Wired magazine was new around that time and I poured over every issue, absorbing all the ideals of the first web movement. Once the Internet got going in the mid 90s, I did everything I could to learn how to write HTML. I launched my first website in 1996. Since then, I've worked for a number of companies, run my own design studio, and today work at Facebook. Overall, getting into design was an organic process. I'd always been interested in art, design, photography, and the rush of technology that happened when I was growing up. Design always felt like the connective thread between these things—something I could use to weave them together, make them more interesting than if I’d focused on one field. I'm definitely still learning though, and that's the fun part. There's always more to explore.
Q. If you could rule the world for one day why would you do?
A. I'd probably immediately renounce my new job, because it's probably not a good idea for any one person to have that much control or power. ☺
Q. What is it like working at Facebook?
A. It's a total rush. There are tons of wonderful people with different talents, so every day feels full and interesting. The place also has a communal feeling, that we're all learning from each other and pushing ourselves to do our best work. The vibe is kind of like a college computer lab at midnight before finals. It's challenging work, but a lot of fun.
Q. What computer do you use and why?
A. 13" Apple MacBook Air. I bought one when the second version came out and it's the best computer I've ever used. Light, good-looking, and it just works.
Q. If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
A. That's a tricky question… Almost all of my best dreams involve flying, so I think I'd like to try that out in real life. I'd go somewhere new and explore.