When I started my own practice, I was criticized, not because I was doing product design but because, like Le Corbusier, I was insisting on paintings in all of my buildings. I would paint wall murals in the houses that I designed, just as he did in the '20s and '30s.
So the premise of 'The Submission' is that there's an anonymous competition to design a 9/11 memorial and it's won by an American Muslim, an architect born and raised in Virginia, and his name is Mohammad Khan.
I turned my hand to costume design a few years ago when I created the outfits for 'This Is the Sea,' with Richard Harris and Samantha Morton. It's a very different discipline to being a fashion designer, though - you have to rein in your own vision and work to a tight brief.
I went through the workroom at Central Saint Martins in London, which is the most competitive workroom of a design school in the world. Very high creativity, very conceptual, very international, age-diverse and cutthroat - people who have master degrees reapplying into a foundation there is just wild to me to launch their careers.
Studying design has made me a much, much more astute observer of this aspect of business. And I'm working mightily to improve my empathic skills. I've dramatically improved my ability to read facial expressions - and I'm trying to be a better, more attentive listener.
If you're talking to an architect, he can look at a blank piece of paper, and once the initial design is there, the formula kicks in. Each room should have something unique and different about it - much the same way that in a song, every eight bars or so, a new piece of information should be introduced.
Let it be your constant method to look into the design of people's actions, and see what they would be at, as often as it is practicable; and to make this custom the more significant, practice it first upon yourself.