The self taught creative Caleb Beyers literally started out digging ditches… these days Caleb has a range of interesting creative passion projects going on, while also raising a bunch of Alpacas… In this technology driven era we are currently living in, Caleb is more interested in fine tuning he’s analogue skills, while maintaining healthy working relationships with those that are in the digital realm.
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs? I studied Psychology as an undergrad at Harvard, and worked designing magazines and typesetting travel books to pay my bills. I didn’t go to design school, for better or worse, because I thought I thought I’d just figure it out on my own. My first job out of college, and back in Victoria was digging ditches to connect houses to the sewer. I moved on from that when I got a job as an intern teacher, teaching film at a boarding school out here.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why? BOOK: “Envisioning Information” by Edward R Tufte
An invaluable breakdown of how to represent information of all kinds, in two dimensions. A treasure trove of techniques, ideas, and principles. Zero trends here folks, it’s all about timeless principles and practices for intelligibility, and the designer being a visual interpreter of ideas.
PODCAST:99% Invisible About “design” in the very broadest sense. It’s about anything that was/is/can be made by people. Light on practice and aesthetics, heavy on story and history, always well told
…I’m also very fond of:The Great Debates
Featuring Dave King and Steve Hely, a couple of my friends who are write for big television comedies. They’re both very smart & hilarious, and they debate very serious issues like “Magicians are garbage” and “Kanye would be a better president than Trump”. The guys also have great banter with their longtime friend, moderator Dan Medina. I look forward to each new episode.
BLOG:I actually don’t really look at blogs at all, but I’ll always read whatever pdf the team from K-Hole releases… Also, does studying endless photos of cabins count as reading? If so, then Cabin Porn is up there with books 😉
Any passion projects you would like to share? I’m doing my best to make everything a passion project. My wife and some partners and I just opened a tiny little café, so we’re working hard on developing that. I’m also making plans for a very big, very long-term project on a little Island between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada. I’m also helping my wife build her yarn brand, Hinterland Textiles, and raising a bunch of Alpacas. We’re becoming the go-to Alpaca shearing team in the region…
Tell us about any collaborations you have been working on. Everything we do is a collaboration, really. Every project involves working with technicians, production people, architects, partners, clients… We don’t really look at ourselves as guns for hire, but as top-to-bottom partners in whatever project we’re working on. We do sometimes work on discrete one-off projects, but they’re less frequent these days. This said, we have been planning a video with famed bootmaker, Viberg, for a bit, and have a collection of ceramics in the works for The Branch. There are always new things passing through!
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt? Design is getting increasingly digital, but I also think that the respect for analogue work is growing too. There’s no avoiding the fact that brands will increasingly live online, and that style and technology cycles are getting increasingly shorter. I’m not really interested in trying to keep up with technology, so my plan for adaptation is to continue developing my analogue skills, and maintain my friendships & working relationships with those who love to dance the dance of digital newness.
What’s the big goal in the next five years? BECOME OUR OWN CLIENT. …open more cafés. get some land. get my hands dirty and beat-up. Design more furniture, lighting, objects, structures, and spaces.