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Photo: The Irish Times

Frank Stephenson: Pushing the Limits of Innovation

“Frank’s name is synonymous with elegant design. Whether he is re-imagining iconic commuter cars like the Fiat 500 or the MINI, or designing limited number supercars like the Ferrari FXX or McLaren P1, his approach is the same. Frank’s attention to detail, commitment to research, and desire to do his very best work is the reason he has led design teams all over the world for companies like Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat, Romeo, Alfa, Mini, McLaren and more.”  —Shane Parrish

Last year I discovered a weekly newsletter called Brain Food. It is produced by Farnam Street. The short weekly email arrives on Sunday and is usually loaded with interesting podcasts, articles, and commentary. I highly recommend it. Their proprietary podcast is called The Knowledge Project and its host is Shane Parrish.

This week Shane interviewed legendary automotive designer Frank Stephenson. This podcast is worth a listen. Car enthusiasts will truly enjoy this episode, however, Frank’s message applies to a wide audience of listeners.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Summary From the Farnam Street website:

In this discussion, Frank talks about his early days as a professional motocross racer and why he decided to throw in the towel. You’ll learn how to be more innovative in your work, where Frank goes to get inspiration, and what it takes to make a mastered skill appear “effortless.” We also discuss Frank’s fascinating vision of the future of automobiles and how he uses biomimicry in his design work. (He tells a great story of how he almost got fired for shipping a huge stuffed sailfish across the ocean.)

Even if you aren’t a “car person,” there are volumes you can learn from Frank about innovation, creativity, and mastering your craft.

Photo: The Irish Times

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One Response to Frank Stephenson: Pushing the Limits of Innovation

  1. Shelley Krohnengold March 4, 2020 at 6:48 am #

    You may have already seen this, but if not “Pushing the Limits of Design” is an excellent documentary about Frank. Covers his years as a young racer, college, career etc. Frank is very forthcoming and candid – it is very well produced and one of the better biographical films I’ve seen. For an automotive design enthusiast a must see!