Summer is finally here! And what better way to kick-off the season than with a CreativeMornings talk! Join us this Friday, June 24th at Lost Arts as Charles Adler weighs in on this month’s theme: broken! Registration opens today at 11am CST, till then check out the Q&A with Charles below!

Define “broken” in one sentence or less.
The fracturing of an idea or object. What drives your desire to create?
It’s changed or evolved over the years. As a kid, it was innocent curiosity, primarily. Tinkering with technology, aesthetics through drawing and photography, adventure through cycling, hiking, camping and running. Life takes on different meanings over time, and as such so does the act of work and play. I am still driven by curiosity. Yet with more focus and direction. I am driven by the fact that work can influence change. This is quite clear through Kickstarter. And I hope to be true for my next project – Lost Arts.
The work I produce needs to be self-fulfilling by way of deep fulfillment for others. I talk a lot about creative independence and empowerment. That’s what excites me and drives me.


How does Chicago influence you or your work?
Chicago as a city has an interesting character. I was first attracted to Chicago in the early 90’s through music. Madbar (RIP), Shelter (RIP), Smartbar and Metro, etc. It was through House, Techno, Industrial, Goth, and the Rock scene in the city that was my first draw. Then it became the landscape. These beautiful industrial buildings. And that juxtaposed against the modern architecture this city is so well known for. That tension between Skyscraper and Rust Belt.
But below that surface and more deeply connected to the individuals I admired in the music scenes growing in the city, there was this soul. This hunger. And for me, that was through music.


These artists had this hunger and drive for both creative expression but creative independence. The people behind these labels and music were innovators, entrepreneurs and artists. That soul has had a profound influence on my worldview, and thus my work. Much as the early punk and post-punk scenes along with the outsider art world influenced me before moving to Chicago.


List three words that begin with the letter “b” to describe your personality!
Broken - I can be highly critical of the world, and at times feel broken because of it. But this is tension also drives me to do my part in improving the world.
Boyish - I still have some kid left in me. I can be a bit of a jackass at times. I intend to keep that spirit.
Boring - dunno. I’m just a guy doing a job.
What does this month’s theme – broken– mean to you?

Our Broken World – We’re at another one of those interesting inflection points in history. One in which the rugs are being pulled from underneath our feet and radical change is all around. Much of that change was unlocked by the Internet and then more profoundly by the Web. And the change is obviously affecting more than the size of device we carry. It’s profoundly affecting our daily lives.
So in this sense, we’re at a great pivoting of our world. A great reset of all our antiquated and broken systems.


Our Broken Work – Similarly the way we work has changed, and will continue to change. The manner in which we work, and environments we constrain ourselves to work within – they’re all broken. And for us as designers – architects, visual designers, product designers, industrial designers, etc – we have a choice. Prolong the past into the future or create a new future. We each have a daily choice to make in terms of how we decide to apply our skill against our work.