We’re proud to have Josh Rubin Founder and Editor In Chief of Coolhunting.com presenting at our inaugural Curator’s Conference. Josh says Cool Hunting is “synonymous with seeking inspiration” and we sat down with him on a sunny New York afternoon to find out more about curation and how its plays into the digital media…
Portable: How does curation touch your life?
Josh Rubin: Curation is a funny word. It’s… I think the definition has really changed over the years. I think to me curation is really about filtering. And I think that both in terms of the work I do as well as just how I live my own life, having filters is critical. There’s so much that we see and hear and experience all day every day and beyond what we actually come in contact with there’s hundreds of other things that are out there that we don’t even know about. So I think that in the information age… God that makes me sound old… I think that given the incredible volume of information that we have access to, more and more
people are depending on filters that or curators if you will that can help them quickly find stuff that is
interesting or relevant.
P: With everything being that accessible how do you curate something unique?
Josh Rubin: I think we publish one in every hundred things we see on Cool Hunting… We’re really not looking to put a ton of stuff out there and we’re really only interested in telling the stories that are super compelling. And for us that filter is really about having… there has to be a creativity story there has to be an innovation story. And we get really excited when there’s an intersection across our categories so if someone is using technology in an interesting way to make art, that rises to the surface
P: We think that a traditional curator is one who is extremely informed about their subject matter. They are an expert regardless of whether they are putting together a museum show about one particular…
Josh Rubin: For us, we are very well informed but I can’t say that we’re experts in every single thing that we write about. For us a big part of the filter is… at Cool Hunting a big part of the filter is understanding that while it might sound cynical there are no new ideas. There are just really great executions on an idea so we look to only share stories about things that we feel are extremely well executed and because we see a hundred times more than we actually publish we’re able to compare the things that we’re considering to a wide body of work and then choose stories that are going to rise to the surface
P: What inspires you?
Josh Rubin: We’re in Madison Square park but for me this is really about any green space in the city. I love the urban density of New York but I also am dependent on getting out under some trees and having a little bit of space to think and breathe.
I guess I’m somewhat fueled by newness. I’m always looking for something new something different; you know a new angle, a new product whatever it might be. And I’m inspired by New York because there’s just this constant flow of newness. It’s incredibly transient so there’s always new people and along with new people comes new art, new projects new businesses, and it’s also a really smart city. People here know what they are doing and know what they are talking about, so theres a lot to learn in New York as well.
P: How did you get into Cool Hunting?
Josh Rubin: I am a user experienced designer and the design process always includes looking for inspirations so I started Coolhunting.com as a place to put things that I was inspired by just because I wanted a place as a personal reference. It was really only meant for me, friends, colleagues but there was never really an intention for it to become a publication.