What is design?
James Zemaitis began his auction career in 1996 at Christie's, where he worked for three years in the 20th Century Design department. Prior to his arrival at Sotheby's in 2003, Mr. Zemaitis organized a series of groundbreaking sales at Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg, where he was Worldwide Head of 20th-21st Century Design.
From his record-breaking $21.5 million sale total in December 2003 and the landmark sale of the Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to the National Trust, to our December 2006 offering of New Life for the Noble Tree: The Dr. Arthur & Evelyn Krosnick Collection of Masterworks by George Nakashima, Sotheby's has raised the market to new heights, commanded extraordinary attention from the press and attracted a host of new collectors.
In the past five years, Mr. Zemaitis has been profiled in The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, House & Garden, Art & Auction, Wallpaper and Cargo. In May 2006, he was voted "one of the 200 most influential New Yorkers" in New York magazine. Mr. Zemaitis serves on the Boards of The Wolfsonian, Miami Beach, and Manitoga: The Russel Wright Design Center, Garrison, New York.
Mr. Zemaitis received a B.A. in Art History from Oberlin College. He pursued graduate work in American Architectural History at Rutgers University.
James Zemaitis: I think it’s funny in that there’s definitely a huge difference between how you explain design from a market perspective and how you would explain design as the curator at MOMA. In my world, design really is about beauty. It’s about how does this work fit in with my collection. How does this look next to everything else in my collection? It really has nothing to do with the old form versus function debate. Ornament can still be crime in the contemporary design movement, but the work itself is frequently an ornament. It’s not about a work having ornament applied to it. It’s about the work itself mimicking sculpture; mimicking contemporary art. And that is the fundamental basis of contemporary design in the market world. On the other side of the coin, if I was to become a full-on curator at an institution, I would be far more concerned with good design – that question, “What is good design, and form and function?” And thus one of my heroes . . . One of my personal heroes over the last 20 years in terms of who is the most innovative, smartest designer of our times, to which I would say Jasper Morrison . . . You know Morrison is not much of a presence in the market because everything he does is so minimalist and so oriented towards function – making this piece work with as few steps as possible.
Recorded on: 1/30/08
It depends who's answering, Zemaitis says.
How can you give and receive more productive feedback? Form a psychological contract with a trusted partner.
- Feedback is a gift, says business psychologist Dr Melanie Katzman. Giving or receiving feedback can be a formal part of our jobs, but in Dr Katzman's assessment, we often don't go far enough with feedback.
- Katzman suggests creating a psychological contract with a partner who you respect and trust. In that contract, you agree to exchange extremely honest feedback by mutual consent in a safe and trusting way.
- In this video, she lays out the rules for such a contract and how you can embark on one. This kind of feedback is not advised without a clear contract as people can feel you are going out of bounds. So be clear, be mutual, and then be extremely candid.
5 effortless, science-backed changes to your isolation workspace that will improve productivity and mental health
A clean work space, plants, and putting on the right pants all make working from home easier, according to science.
- Maintaining a proper morning routine (which involves getting dressed in work clothes) and structuring your work-from-home day as you would any other in-office workday can help boost productivity.
- Organizing your work station (the height of your desk, the use of a proper chair, the cleanliness of your work area) can also impact your mood and productivity levels.
- Adding a sense of joy and fun to your in-home work environment helps improve your mental state and work ethic, according to designer Ingrid Fetell Lee.
Learn how to negotiate like a shark. Here are Shark Tank investor Daymond John's tips for powerful communication.
- You're negotiating every day of your life, whether it's a huge business deal or something as small as getting the remote control from your partner, says Shark Tank investor Daymond John.
- Over 65 percent of communication is body language. Only seven percent is what you say. Using body language effectively is a simple way to shift power to your court during negotiations or strategically shift power over to others.
- Used-car salespeople have this down to a fine art, says John. They are the best because they listen to clues in the way potential customers talk and then they engage your senses: sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste.