Ellen Keith Shaw, designer and founder of the Flaneur Society.
The Flaneur Society seeks out people who like to explore the hidden crevices of cities. It is also for those who might not naturally get off the beaten path, but have an innate desire to do so. The pocket guide to ‘Getting Lost‘ defines the concept of the ‘flâneur’.
Website: Ellen Keith Shaw
Who are you?
Ellen Keith Shaw: Designer, Urbanist, and founder of the Flaneur Society
Where do you call ‘home’ and what do you like about it?
Home for me is California. I like that within a few hours I can access all kinds of terrain – cities, the ocean, mountains and the desert. This diverse geography is what makes California so interesting.
Describe your favourite place to work and the view out the window
My current favourite place to work is home because I’ve optimised my space for getting creative. I also love that when I need some fresh air I can can step outside and work on my garden for a bit, which helps me reconnect when when I’m too deep in technology-land.
Where do you find inspiration? Where do you ‘get lost’?
I find my inspiration in discovery. I prefer discovery to happen in person, but when I don’t have time to go get lost I find inspiration on Instagram, where all sorts of crazy talented people are sharing their discoveries every day.
What is your favourite way to get around?
My feet. When I’m walking I find I discover things I would otherwise miss every time.
Describe a trend in your industry, or in society more generally, that fascinates you.
I am most fascinated by the idea of a post-geography world which Seth Godin describes eloquently and at length in his interview with Krista Tippet on the podcast ‘On Being’. The idea that we can form community and support networks without being constrained by geography is a very powerful notion.
Name your favourite spot to hang out when you’re off work.
My favourite spot is a local café/restaurant called Boot and Shoe Service. They’ve created a beautiful, well designed space that draws an interesting crowd. Its a nice place to take a break from work and to watch the world go by.
What’s your favourite city?
My favourite city is Amsterdam. I love how easy it is to get lost in all of the side streets and how the buildings along the canals have settled into one another after centuries. I lived there for ten months six years ago, and I am still inspired by memories of it on a regular basis. The design scene there is also top notch.
Name one object you cannot live without
My camera. It is how I interpret what I see out in the world. I love that photography captures a time and place so that you can return to it again and again. Photography is much more dependable than my memory when left to its devices. And it is an art form I can be constantly inspired and challenged by.
What’s the most or least exciting thing you’ve got coming up this week?
I’m in the process of trying to build a photography practice and have a shoot scheduled with my friend and her daughter tomorrow. It will be time to stretch my creative muscle and to catch up with a friend.
Can you please share your vision with us?
I believe its important to love what you do. And that if you love what you do, you will find your audience. I think that this is an important reminder for people seeking work they feel passionate about. I’ve spent a long time working on other people’s dreams. I’m now trying to realise my own and I’m finding that process very fulfilling.
Guide to Getting Lost
- Size: 3,5 x 5,5 inch (approximately 90 x 140 mm)
- Hand bound
- 32 pages
- Format: black and white, softcover
- Language: English
- Available for pre-order. Delivery in Q2 2016
- Limited edition of 200
- Unique collaboration between Flaneur Society and Carl Goes
Price: € 16,95
including taxes and worldwide shipping.