We had the good fortune of connecting with Phil Otto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phil, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve noticed a pattern in my working life, where roughly every five years – I get bored and re-invent the studio. I did not know I was doing this, but I have realized it is a response to trends and adaptation based on conversations I am having with my clients. Friends have always asked me why I am still jumping off cliffs. I don’t see it as a risk. I see it as an essential re-invention. It reflects my living situation, where I have moved many times over the years – I always learn something new that I take along with me. I need that. Every place has something to teach me, and it underlines my realization that people everywhere are the same at heart.
What should our readers know about your business?
Along with the tradition we have established with Otto Design Group – I am excited to give birth to our new venture, Seeds, and Growth, which extends learnings from physical environments to community-scale and brand spaces. Everything has been easy in a sense because one thing led to the other, and I allowed myself to go with it. I am also getting back to teaching, with a position at the University of Cincinnati in the multi-disciplinary DAAP program. I work with undergrad and master-level students on design trends and issues.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A day trip to my favorite places would be more of a road-trip from Topanga Canyon to the Arts District. The stops along the way: Topanga Canyon: Kinship Station Canyon Gourmet Topanga Living Cafe Arts District DTLA: Maru Cafe
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I tend to fall in love with things, and the current love is Bruce Mau’s latest offering, MC24. I am excited about positive and actionable it is. I am always grateful for the several amazing teams I work with daily. I like to surround myself with talented and creative people that take things further than I ever could on my own.