When I was little — and by the way, I was little once — my father told me a story about an 18th century watchmaker. And what this guy had done: he used to produce these fabulously beautiful watches. And one day, one of his customers came into his workshop and asked him to clean the watch that he’d bought. And the guy took it apart, and one of the things he pulled out was one of the balance wheels. And as he did so, his customer noticed that on the back side of the balance wheel was an engraving, were words. And he said to the guy, “Why have you put stuff on the back that no one will ever see?” And the watchmaker turned around and said, “God can see it.” Now I’m not in the least bit religious, neither was my father, but at that point, I noticed something happening here. I felt something in this plexus of blood vessels and nerves, and there must be some muscles in there as well somewhere, I guess. But I felt something. And it was a physiological response. And from that point on, from my age at the time, I began to think of things in a different way.
And as I took on my career as a designer, I began to ask myself the simple question: Do we actually think beauty, or do we feel it? Now you probably know the answer to this already. You probably think, well, I don’t know which one you think it is, but I think it’s about feeling beauty. And so I then moved on into my design career and began to find some exciting things. One of the most early work was done in automotive design — some very exciting work was done there. And during a lot of this work, we found something, or I found something, that really fascinated me, and maybe you can remember it. Do you remember when lights used to just go on and off, click click, when you closed the door in a car? And then somebody, I think it was BMW, introduced a light that went out slowly. Remember that? I remember it clearly. Do you remember the first time you were in a car and it did that? I remember sitting there thinking, this is fantastic. In fact, I’ve never found anybody that doesn’t like the light that goes out slowly. I thought, well what the hell’s that about?