kyu creative library

Inspiring recommendations from the collective

01 Information is Beautiful

This is simply the most creative book ever written on the need for clear explanation of information. An absolute must for anyone who needs to put a presentation together. A beautiful book to glance through. Pictorially perfect. CEO Michael Birkin, kyu

09 The Alchemist

For me this book was about knowing the right thing to do is to follow your dreams, but your dreams change over time and you need other people to help you achieve them. Kelly Weinberg, Infrared

10 The Art of Community

The feeling of belonging is a fundamental human need and at Digital Kitchen we design specifically for this feeling. People want to fill their lives with - and return to - the experiences that make you feel like you belong. This book outlines seven fundamental principles to build stronger and more positive communities - a guidebook for anyone who wants to engage people in meaningful experiences that are shared with others. Digital Kitchen

11 The Design of Dissent

Design has always played a big role in political discourse. By crystallizing ideas it can foster both awareness and advocacy. Also, right now in particular, we need all the dissent we can muster. Jason McCann, Red Peak

12 Mad Men

A series about advertising in its golden age, way before pixels and technology took over. Since Sid Lee's area of expertise within kyu is market-making & advertising I had to sneak this one in. Alex Pasini, Sid Lee

13 Powers of Ten

Powers of Ten is a classic documentary that inspires us with its reminders of the value and practice of perspective and systems-thinking. Lisa Maulhardt, SYPartners

14 Abstract

Creative minds truly march to the beat of their own drum. This series takes viewers up close and personal with leading figures in design, architecture, and fashion, to name only a few. Being a New Yorker I especially recommend the episode on Paula Scher – after watching her episode I found myself having a newfound awareness of her iconic designs all over the city. Frances Bajet, kyu

15 Creative Confidence

IDEO founder David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelly have written a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of you. kyu Tokyo

17 Managing

A compilation of 32 articles written over the preceding ten years that covers topics from strategy to profitability, marketing to motivating employees. It is a brilliant and accessible guide to every management issue at play in professional firms. kyu Tokyo

18 Hidden Brain

This podcast is a brilliant blend of behavioral science and storytelling. In roughly 25-30 minute episodes, host Shankar Vedantam talks to leading minds in psychology and neuroscience today to take you on a deep dive of a certain aspect of how we humans behave – and why. If you need somewhere to start, I’d recommend “Deep Work” and “The Power and Problem of Grit.” Frances Bajet, kyu

20 First Monday

You don’t have to be knowledgeable about haute couture or even fashion to be absolutely riveted for all 90 minutes of this documentary. Yes, Anna Wintour stars in this but at its core the film explores how she and her army of organizers – and of course the Met curators – transform the Met Gala into not just an event but rather a multi-sensory experience. A fascinating look behind the curtain. Frances Bajet, kyu

21 FLow

This book defined everything we know about creating experiences that customers get lost in. From creating products and websites that engage the customer for hours to designing work experiences that our employees love, Flow is the starting point. Tara Hunt & Maria Vassiliou, C2

05 Big Magic

We are huge fans of Elizabeth Gilbert's writing, rawness and general fearlessness. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy. Tara Hunt & Maria Vassiliou, C2

07 Rise of the Creative Class

This is also one of the favorites of Toda-san, the HDY CEO. The preface to both the Original edition (2002) and the Revised edition (2012) are as good an explanation as to the importance of creativity in society and the ability of everyone to be creative (almost an advertisement for Design Thinking) as anything you can read. CEO Michael Birkin, kyu

16 History of Byzantium

This is a written history of one of the world’s longest, yet largely uncharted, empires which started when the Roman Emperor Constantine essentially moved the Roman Empire to Constantinople from Rome in 330 AD and finished with the defeat by the Ottomans in 1453 AD. There are just countless lessons from this, but many of them revolve around the need for partnerships (alliances if you like) for both survival and growth. Also if you include the Byzantine empire as the last era of the Roman Empire we extend the life of the Roman Empire to thousands of years. CEO Michael Birkin, kyu

23 LV App

Sid Lee has always been about breaking borders and what easier way to break one than to visit another city? Now thanks to the Louis Vuitton City Guides app get an enhanced urban experience straight from your pocket phone or wrist watch. Alex Pasini, Sid Lee

02 Sky Ladder

This documentary shows one of the most astonishing levels of commitment to produce something of beauty - something we hold onto when we're at our best. Lisa Maulhardt, SYPartners

06 L2 Inc

L2 Inc - Winners & Losers in a Digital Age is a weekly YouTube series hosted by the L2 founder Scott Galloway. It is an amazing ongoing analysis of companies in the digital age. Tara Hunt & Maria Vassiliou, C2

22 The Why Axis

Gneezy and List lead us on a journey to discover the economics underlying human motivation and how to structure the incentives that can get people to move mountains. Their goal: to discover solutions to the big, difficult problems, such as the gap between rich and poor, the violence plaguing inner city schools, why people really discriminate, and whether women are really less competitive than men. BEworks

24 Event Marketer

Event Marketer This website features some of the latest B2B and B2C activations being done for big name brands. We are inspired by how others interpret, strategize and bring a brand to life through experience. Casie Nitsch, Infrared

25 Because

This blog features the latest in experiential marketing activations but is a really smart marketing strategy from an experienced agency. Competition at its best. Casie Nitsch, Infrared

26 Genius of Place

Sailor, farmer, journalist, and father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted intended his designs to affect those who experienced them by an unconscious process. This unconscious influence is at the heart of the experiences we create. This book tells his life story, discusses his guiding principles and his mastery of scenery. As a 19th century landscape architect, he has inspired the work we do at DK and the many digital landscapes we create today. Digital Kitchen

27 Fog of War

This was Robert Macnamara’s autobiographical documentary film made shortly before his death (2003). As you will know he was a very controversial Secretary of State during the Vietnam War. The film is split into 11 “Lessons” and some of these are riveting. In particular the lesson where he recounts a dinner he attended in Vietnam after the war, with the victors, where for the first time he realized that the US hadn’t even understood the real reasons the North Vietnamese were fighting the war in the first place. It’s one of the best examples I know of needing always to look at a problem through the lens of your adversary or partner or colleague or anyone else you have a human relationship with. CEO Michael Birkin, kyu

28 The Story Factor

Over one hundred stories drawn from the front lines of business and government - as well as myths, fables, and parables from around the world - illustrate how stories can be used to persuade, motivate, and inspire in ways that cold facts, bullet points, and directives can’t. These stories, combined with practical storytelling techniques, show anyone how to become a more effective communicator. From “who I am” to “I-know-what-you’re thinking,” Simmons identifies the six stories you need to know how to tell and demonstrates how they can be applied. Tara Hunt & Maria Vassiliou, C2

29 Wealth of Networks

In this comprehensive social theory of the Internet and the networked information economy, Benkler describes how patterns of information, knowledge, and cultural production are changing—and shows that the way information and knowledge are made available can either limit or enlarge the ways people can create and express themselves. Tara Hunt & Maria Vassiliou, C2

30 Casey Neistat

If you want to know how to tell a story, just watch Casey’s YouTube channel. Tara Hunt & Maria Vassiliou, C2

08 The Phenomenon of Man

This book is a recent, if not entirely modern, bit of inspiration for our efforts in an individual’s transformation - toward a supremely improved state of shared consciousness and humanity. Lisa Maulhardt, SYPartners

31 Sunny

This YouTube channel has great tips for social media - how tos and secrets. Some good stuff on branding for the digital age in there as well. Tara Hunt & Maria Vassiliou, C2

32 This American Life

Ira Glass and crew have been producing this heartfelt show filled with stories for nearly 22 years - pre-podcast era. Every week, they explore a new topic through various lenses of human experience. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get angry, and you’ll celebrate, but every week, you’ll learn something new. If you fall in love like I did, you can also binge on 615+ back episodes! C2

35 Layer Tennis

Layer Tennis is a website that invites creatives of all kind (animators, illustrators, designers, etc.) to compete in a real-time back and forth competition while an outside writer comments on each player’s moves. The competitors swap a file back and forth embellishing on the previous player's file. Jessixa Bagley, Hornall Anderson

34 Hand Job   A Catalog of Type

Hand Job: A Catalog of Type is a collection of hand drawn type from fifty well known industry typographers. It shows an incredible variety of techniques and methods that the designers use outside of the computer. Though it is less current it is still widely checked out from our library. Hornall Anderson

33 B Mag

Magazine B is an ad free monthly magazine that selects one amazing brand per issue to focus on. The brands themselves are very widely diverse - ranging from Bic to Star Wars to Helvetic to Lego. It explores everything about the brand from details and history to the culture and fans. Jessixa Bagley, Hornall Anderson

09 Predictably Irrational

In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with ground breaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities. BEworks

Small Victories