Charles Leon, Director, Leon Black
Charles’s talk ‘In the lap of luxury’ at HI Design EMEA 2013 received the highest ratings from delegates ever recorded at any previous HI Design event. So, to help mark the tenth birthday, it seems fitting to invite him back to present his latest thought provoking talk – Fatal Optimism.
An Engineer and a Designer are trekking in the dense Sumatran jungle when suddenly a tiger leaps out in front of them. Who is the fittest for survival?
The Engineer takes out his calculator and works out the odds of one or other of them surviving, by which time the Tiger is upon him and he’s dead.
The Designer reacts immediately, grabs his aftershave from his backpack and knocks the tiger out with the fumes and survives.
Intuitive and innovative thinking are uniquely human and built into our DNA by millennia of evolution. Without intuition, emotion and bias we have no view of the world, no view of our past and no view of the future. How do designers and innovators learn to use these skills and create a view of the future and what’s happening in the mind of an innovator?
In this talk, Charles will explore why designers minds are different. He will look at Brain Biases, Zombies, Empathy, Emotion, Evolution, Attention, Concentration, Consciousness, Beliefs, Constructing internal stories, Qualia, Other People’s Minds, the Triune brain, Mentalese, and why we are hardwired for Optimism.
And if he can get through all of that then he will explore how can we make environments that are more conducive to innovation.
His talk will involve audience participation, fun, humour, animations and some difficult ideas about how a designers minddiffers from the rest of humankind.
Charles trained originally as a theatre designer and has worked with several major British and International theatre, dance and opera groups. This work naturally led on feature film design and it was whilst working in features that he was approached to join a team of international of hotel designers.
In 1997 Charles set up his own design practice, CLA, specialising in hotel design. He has since broadened the range of the company to incorporate Architecture, Residential, Spa and Restaurantdesign. In 2014, Charles was joined by Nicholas Black and the company was renamed Leon Black.
In recent years Charles has given lectures, talks and seminars on the theory of design and design thinking.
Charles interests are not limited to Design and he pursues many diverse interests including writing, Philosophy, Painting, Climbing mountains, Triathlons andskiing.
Charles is also the Education Director at the British Institute of Interior Design.