Museum of Design Atlanta Presents an Exhibition and a Conversation with Acclaimed Designer Ken Carbone

5000 Pages of Beginnings: The Journals of Ken Carbone

January 25 – March 5, 2017

Design Conversation with Carbone, True Obsessions: Art, Music and Design and Why They Matter More Every Day

January 26, 2017

ATLANTA – January 10, 2017 – Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) is thrilled to announce two events with renowned graphic designer Ken Carbone. From January 25 through March 5, 2017, MODA will exhibit 5000 Pages of Beginnings: The Journals of Ken Carbone, sketchbooks chronicling 25 years of the designer’s life. To kick off this exhibition, MODA will host a Design Conversation with Carbone, True Obsessions: Art, Music and Design and Why They Matter More Every Day, which takes place on Thursday, January 26 at 7 p.m. at the Hill Auditorium in the Woodruff Arts Center (1280 Peachtree Street).

Exhibition: 5000 Pages of Beginnings: The Journals of Ken Carbone

While working on the signage for the I.M Pei expansion at the Louvre in the late 1980s Carbone was shown some of Paul Gauguin’s journals and was inspired to start keeping his own.

“Gauguin’s journals contained drawings, personal letters, collages, paintings and were visually spectacular,” says Carbone. “These revealed the artist’s private life and were not meant for public view. That made the experience even more memorable. It was like seeing buried treasure.”

The sketchbooks Carbone has kept during the past 25 years comprise the works of the exhibition and are a chronicle of life, art, the times we live in, a collection of ideas and obsessive experimentation.

“I consider my collection of journals as ‘5000 pages of beginnings,’ nothing finished, nothing too precious,” he explains. “On occasion I'll use these books to sketch out a specific design concept for a client. I like to challenge myself to find a solution to a problem within a single two-page spread to capture the essence of an idea. This constraint is both terrifying and exciting.” 

Design Conversation with Carbone: True Obsessions: Art, Music and Design and Why They Matter More Every Day

The paintings of Picasso, the opening of Beethoven’s 9th and the Apple iPhone are among the greatest creative examples of our species behaving beautifully. Art, music and design are dominant cultural drivers that continue to make important and lasting contributions to civilization. 

In his presentation, Ken Carbone, Co-Founder of the Carbone Smolan Agency, will reveal how he has juggled these personal obsessions for more than five decades to build a rewarding creative career. Including a live guitar performance, he’ll also discuss how art, music and design are becoming more essential in contemporary life as they provide a needed bright spot in an increasingly troubled world.

About Ken Carbone

Ken Carbone is a designer, artist, musician, author, teacher, and blogger for Fast Company. He says he can’t spell, can’t type and only learned to swim after he turned 50. He is the Chief Creative Director of the Carbone Smolan Agency, a design and branding firm in New York City. The agency’s client list includes: W Hotels, Canon, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Boston Consulting Group and the Musée du Louvre. Carbone, along with his partner Leslie Smolan, are recipients of the 2014 AIGA Medal for design distinction. The agency’s work is widely published and is recognized for excellence worldwide.

When he is not doing all of the above he enjoys playing the guitar very loudly.

About Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

MODA believes that design is a creative process that can solve problems, transform lives, and make the world a better place. The museum’s exhibitions and programs exemplify this belief. Located within the Midtown Arts Corridor since 2011, MODA is the only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of all things design.  MODA advances the understanding and appreciation of design as the convergence of creativity and functionality through exhibitions, education and programming for visitors of all ages. MODA’s vision is of a world that celebrates design as a creative force that inspires change, transforms lives and makes the world a better place. MODA regularly features exhibitions of architecture, industrial and product design, interiors and furniture, graphics, fashion, and more.  The museum also offers an extensive range of adult programs, as well as educational programs and camps for children. For more information, visit: or call 404-979-6455.



Museum of Design Atlanta