A curated list for creativity- what we’re watching, reading, and listening to

By Emily Pfiester [3 min read] 

It has been one year of working from home for Namahn and to celebrate this odd anniversary we would like to share with you our “best of” list for ways to break the monotony. You’ll find below recommendations from our designers and staff as to what we’re watching, listening to, reading, and even eating to bring some creativity to these days of lockdown.

Watching:

Marie- “Design Dialogues”, online lectures organised by the Ghent Design Museum.

Leo- “Hero” by Yimou Zhang.

Sabrina- Skillshare tutorials on digital sketching and I’m also enjoying Procreate very much in my free time.

Alain- recommends avoiding Netflix to be creative. He prefers birdwatching from the kitchen window.

Emily- “The Good Place” on Netflix. Good escapist entertainment!

Olivier- “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix.

Johan- “The Undoing” on HBO.

Heidi- “For All Mankind” on Apple TV.

Tilly- Classic British feel-good TV like “Grand Designs”, “Great British Bake Off”, “Monty Don’s Big Dreams & Small Spaces” and “Portrait Artist of the Year”. Their creativity in completely different areas of expertise than mine always gives me an energy boost!

Amber- Documentaries on food like “Chef’s Table” (especially the episode with Massimo Bottura) and “Street Food”, the Asia and Latin America series.

Listening to:

Klara- The Creative Confidence podcast from IDEO U.

Marie- Hidden Brain podcast, an exploration of the unconscious patterns that drive human behaviour. Also listening to Les pieds sur terre podcast documentary that takes any topic from the experience and point of view of ordinary people.

Joannes- many podcasts to recommend: a 16z Podcast, The Ezra Klein Show, Intelligence Squared, New Scientist Weekly, Futures Podcast, The Gist.

Leo- Einstürzende Neubauten, Perpetuum Mobile.

Koen- the new Four Tet album, Pantha du Prince, Trentemoller… creates the best environment for me to be “in the flow” and work more productively (outside meetings of course 😊).

Yalenka- This Is Actually Happening, the podcast version of “what if” questions, just normal people telling extraordinary stories.

Stefanos- Nat Birchall, Cosmic Language. Deep meditative jazz and the right soundtrack to take the edge off a stressful day and create some head space for new ideas.

Reading:

Marie-The Revue Dessinée”, social & actual topics explained via comic book techniques, great to learn about a variety of topics in a clear visual way.

Kristel- “The Quark and the Jaguar” by Murray Gell-Mann and “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben.

Sabrina- “Strategic Design”, a collection of best practices from studios and universities all over the world. Also, I like sketching what I read.

Koen- Hans Fallada “Alone in Berlin” and “The drinker”. “Narziss and Goldmund” by Herman Hesse.

Alain- “Factfulness: 10 reasons we’re wrong about the world- and why things are better than you think” by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling. The world is a better place than ever before (though there’s still a lot to be done). Also reading “Verzameld Werk” by Willem Elsschot, still one of the highlights in Dutch literature.

Jeroen- For a creative boost I read an opinionated book or article on the subject, as it brings refreshing takes or challenges me to formulate why I (dis)agree with them. I recently read “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness” by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunsetin and “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt” by Michael Lewis.

Olivier- “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards.

Pieter- “The Discomfort of Everything” by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, a young Dutch writer and winner of the 2020 Booker Prize and “How to Write One Song”, a funny/philosophical book by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.

Johan- “Girl in a Band” by Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.

Heidi- “Failure is not an Option” by Gene Kranz.

Emily- “Nights at the Circus” by Angela Carter. Not a new book, but beautifully written and a fantastic escape novel during these odd times.

Following:

Koen- Per Axbom (@axbom) on ethics; David Perell (@david_perell) on creative writing

Sabrina- Malika Favre, UX Swipe & Liz&Mollie

Eating:

Koen- For other locals in Belgium- we have been ordering food via Food bag (like Hello Fresh, but local). Excellent recipes, with a lot of variations. Our boys love it.

Sabrina- poke bowls, for a fresh mix of colours and flavours (compose your bowl and take it to the park under the upcoming spring sun!).

Emily- dedicating (at least) a night a week to making a comfort dish from my childhood, be it a cake or soup that I used to love eating as a kid.