What Matters: Randy Hunt on Crying at Choir Performances and Going From ‘Not Knowing to Knowing’

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Debbie Millman has started a new project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an ongoing effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer 10 identical questions, and submit a decidedly nonprofessional photograph.

Randy J. Hunt is an American design leader and author living in Singapore. He leads design at Grab, Southeast Asia’s superapp.

What is the thing you like doing most in the world?

Doing crossword puzzles with my wife.

What is the first memory you have of being creative?

I remember my older sister teaching me the first three letters, A B C, and how they could get rearranged to make the word “Cab.” That is my earliest memory of some kind of problem-solving or creativity. I project onto that memory the feeling I have when I solve design problems today.

What is your biggest regret?

I’ve always said I’m not one to regret. I think that holds up.

How have you gotten over heartbreak?

The last time I can think of, I bought a guitar I’d been pining years for. It was an impulse purchase that’s served me well.

What makes you cry?

Large groups of people singing together. A choir. An audience at a concert. Some children in a recital. Gets me every time.

How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?

Internally, I feel proud of many of my accomplishments. I don’t know if I express that externally. I tend to enjoy something in the moment and then get on with what’s next. I don’t think that the peak lasts for long. But the general positive feeling might get imprinted in me and re-emerge from time to time.

Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?

I don’t. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. But if I did, it’d have sunshine and music.

What do you hate most about yourself?

I hate that I don’t like being interrupted when I’m thinking deeply. I’m often thinking, and the world is naturally full of interruptions. Therein lies my plight. I promise I’m not unhappy. I’m thinking.

What do you love most about yourself?

That I’m comfortable asking a question and generally comfortable not knowing. The process of going from not knowing to knowing is deeply enjoyable, so coming from a place of not knowing feels really lucky as there’s the potential of a path of learning or discovery ahead.

What is your absolute favorite meal?

A cinnamon roll and a fresh cup of black coffee. But that’s not a “meal.” So, fish tacos, elotés, and a classic margarita on the rocks.