Spencer Bailey

SPENCER BAILEY is the former editorial director of Surface Media and editor-in-chief of Surface magazine. He has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and Bloomberg Businessweek, and worked at The Daily Beast, Vanity Fair, and Esquire. Bailey wrote and edited the book Tham ma da: The Adventurous Interiors of Paola Navone, which was published by Pointed Leaf Press in 2016.

At Surface, Bailey has interviewed hundreds of leading architects, artists, designers, and others, including David Adjaye, Tadao Ando, Thom Browne, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Ian Schrager, Philippe Starck, and Kanye West. Bailey was integral to the launches of the Design Dialogues live conversation series, of which he is a frequent moderator, and the Surface Studios brand marketing unit. As editorial director of Surface Media, he oversees the company’s content across a range of digital and print platforms. During three years of reporting for The New York Times Magazine, from 2011 to 2014, he interviewed authors, celebrities, politicians, and cultural figures such as Al Sharpton, Tony Hawk, Rodney King, and Cyndi Lauper for a “How To ...” column.

Bailey is a trustee of the Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York. He also serves on the New York honorary committee of the L’Ecole jewelry-making school, which is supported by Van Cleef & Arpels. He was on the juries of the 2016 James Beard Restaurant Design Awards, the 2016 Rado Star Prize, and the 2017 Swarovski Designers of the Future Award. Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, he is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

3 words to describe Nature?

Reflective. Relaxing. Restorative

3 things Nature taught you?

To appreciate it more.

To slow down.

The importance of quiet.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Francie’s Cabin, in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Katsura Imperial Villa, in Kyoto, Japan.

The Noguchi Museum, in Queens, New York.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Meditative

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Curious

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Anxious

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Like I should probably take a photo of it with my iPhone.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Depends on the context.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

One night, when I was probably around age 8, my brothers and I decided to “camp out” in our family’s yard in suburban Denver. We read some scary stories that night. I remember hearing thunder in the distance. Shortly after falling asleep, we were awakened by a hail storm. A lightning bolt cracked above, and almost immediately we noticed that my twin brother’s hair was standing straight on end. The lightning had struck the tree next to us. We decided to wimp out and rush indoors. That was probably a wise decision.


Chip Conley


Bestselling author, hospitality entrepreneur, disruptive business rebel, and social change agent, Chip Conley is a leader at the forefront of the sharing economy. At age 26, the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality took an inner city motel and turned it into the 2nd largest boutique hotel brand in the world. Inspired by psychologists Maslow and Frankl, Chip’s books, PEAK and the New York Times bestseller EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS, share his own theories on transformation and meaning in business and life. Chip was CEO of his innovative company for 24 years. In 2013 he accepted an invitation from the founders of Airbnb to help transform a promising home sharing start-up into what is today the world’s largest hospitality brand. As Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy, Chip taught his award-winning methods to hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts in nearly 200 countries, and created the Airbnb Open that brings thousands together in a global festival of belonging (he transitioned to a part-time role as Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership in January 2017). Chip founded Fest300 in 2013 to share his passion for travel and the world’s best festivals (the company merged with Everfest in 2016 where he is part-time Chief Strategy Officer).

Chip has received hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, joining industry icons Marriott, Kimpton and Wynn. He is the founder of the Celebrity Pool Toss, which has raised millions for the Tenderloin neighborhood where he opened his first hotel, and San Francisco’s Hotel Hero Awards that shine a light on the unsung heroes serving hotel guests every day. Chip holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, and an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University. He serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute.

3 words to describe Nature?

Spiritual, cleansing, awe-provoking

3 things Nature taught you? 

Animism: everything has spirit; there are forces way bigger than me; "discover the pace of nature"

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

A deserted beach in Baja, the Ventana wilderness in Big Sur, a quiet rice paddy field in Baja

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

The vastness: there's so much above and below the surface to explore, I wish I had many lifetimes to do this

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Trees breathing with me and the phenomenally complex and beautiful eco-system

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Metaphor for powerful human emotions

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

The end is also the beginning

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

There is nowhere to hide

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

I'm reminded of the stunning scene in American Beauty when the two teenagers are staring at the video of the plastic bag in the wind...wind creates life

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

I can't say I'm only one of these but if I had to choose one, it would be Ocean.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

9

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

I remember staring at a live starfish on the beach I'd found and realized how much life was under the sea.