Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an 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 ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.
Carsten founded the interdisciplinary creative agency GLOCK in 2006, where he has worked with leading international brands including Bombay Sapphire, Revlon, and Burt’s Bees.
What is the thing you like doing most in the world?
Honestly, just hanging out with my family. It’s amazing watching my sons grow; they make sure no day is ever the same and keep me grounded with their (brutal) honesty. Beyond that, I love to ski. I grew up doing it and it’s a true form of escapism. It’s like meditation for me.
What is the first memory you have of being creative?
I don’t have many memories from that time, but one of my most vivid childhood memories is from when I was about 6 or 7. I would draw huge layouts of houses, swimming pools, and gyms, but apparently, I never understood how to draw levels, as they were always entirely flat. My mum gave them to me a while back and they’re definitely… interesting. I always wanted to be an architect when I was a kid, but I didn’t have the patience back then to see it through.
What is your biggest regret?
To me, mistakes are opportunities, so what’s the point of dwelling on them? You need to learn from your mistakes, but you can’t let them drag you down because you can’t change them. I try to accept these things for what they are and confront them. That’s how you can make the most out of every mistake.
How have you gotten over heartbreak?
Everyone has their own ways, but for me, it’s just a matter of accepting the feeling, feeling it, and eventually moving on.
What makes you cry?
I cry more happy tears. When I see people doing kind things, I find it can make me emotional— even if I don’t know them! It moves me when I watch people showcase the qualities that I want to see in myself, like selflessness, for example.
How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?
I don’t tend to think about my accomplishments too much, as I get a little self-conscious when people try to celebrate things I’ve done. I have a tendency to focus on the great next thing I can do. I’m always working on it!
Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?
Beats me, man.
What do you hate most about yourself?
I don’t live in the present enough, and that means sometimes I can miss what is right in front of me. I want to make sure I appreciate as much as possible, especially with my family.
What do you love most about yourself?
I have an ability to stay positive even in difficult situations, which is so important to me. I focus on the opportunities that can be found in the hardship and relish the challenge of finding a solution. This approach has also taught me to forgive easily; I try my best to always draw a line and move on, instead of letting the past hold me or others back.
I also love that I’m always asking: “does it make sense?” That’s my life in a nutshell, basically, but I think it’s working out so far! My wife even got me a cap with it on the front, so I think that tells you all you need to know.
What is your absolute favorite meal?
At the moment, I’m absolutely obsessed with rose harissa and Za’atar spiced fish. I cook it at least once a week, if not twice. Always with a fennel, orange, and walnut salad. But it really depends on the setting; whenever I visit Switzerland, it’s always about raclette!