A couple of years ago, some genius at University of Toronto decided to redesign the downtown campus. He put bricks in the road to indicate walkways.

The trouble was these walkways were a little vague.

“Great,” said the pedestrians, “a cross walk!”

“What cross walk?” said the drivers as they…

I felt like I was being chased up the beach by a tidal wave.

Run for your life, anthropologist, run for your life!

I was looking at a new ad for Lexus. Here it is.

So much going on.

See especially the opening chords which are, unless I’m mistaken…

Carnegie Library, Akron, Ohio, 1904, source: Wikipedia

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American businessman who made a fortune in steel and built libraries across the world between 1883 and 1929.

He build 1600 of them in the US, including the one above.

Brands are dedicated to a purpose. They buzz with meaning. They communicate trust.

I wonder if it isn’t time for them to act like a studio.

A Hollywood studio.

This would be a good way for the brand to speak to culture, to connect to consumers, to matter to the…

Curatorial ability. You have it. And up until til now, you just gave it away.

We are all culture curators one way or another. We are passionate about graphic novels, hip hop, noir films, craft beer, computer games, folk arts, or this thing called American culture or those people called…

Note to the reader: This essay was written in the spring of 2019. It produced an incendiary response in some readers and I had doubts about it in any case. So I stuck it in a drawer and forgot about it. A couple of weeks ago I was doing a…

Grant McCracken

[This essay was originally published May 2015 in Wired. It was a collaboration that brought together this essay, an interview with Mitch Hurwitz, an embedded reader poll constructed by Wired, and some spectacular visuals also from Wired. All of these sponsored by Netflix. The collaboration was well received…

Grant McCracken

I'm an anthropologist & author of Chief Culture Officer. You can reach me at grant27@gmail.com.

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