What’s it like to create work for the Dalai Lama?
When we launched the [Atlas of Emotions] someone said that getting design feedback from the Dalai Lama was like getting spiritual advice from Jony Ive at Apple.
I got to meet him midway through the project and show him the work and get his input. One amazing thing about being around him is that when he’s looking at you, you know that he’s entirely and only concentrating on you. He just doesn’t look away at all. It’s a little unsettling to realize how distracted and unfocused the rest of your life is when you’re around someone with that level of commitment and focus to every moment.
I also tried to get him to interact with the laptop that we had the project loaded on. How cool would it have been to get a picture of him clicking on our work!? After a couple minutes of futilely trying to get him to use the mouse and trackpad he looked at me with a gleam in his eye and said “Technology—that’s for my next body.” The whole room cracked up. I had no idea he was such a joker.