In any creative discipline or business, it takes a visionary to effect change—someone to look left when everyone else is looking right. In the worlds of style and design, change can often be subtle and almost imperceptible and yet still have a tremendous impact on our daily lives. Designers, architects, curators, cooks—they can change the shape of a coffee mug, change the way we live, change the way we see or change the way we eat. We may not even notice until we wake up and realize that something is in fact very different about the way we dress or how we live or what we're eating. Did you think about organic food in the local supermarket 10 years ago? Would you ever have worn all black clothing 20 years ago?
Design can sometimes seem pretty mundane—how hard is it to change the shape of a coffee mug?—but often the most random life experiences can inspire grand ideas. Witness the way John Mackey, a six-time college dropout, changed his diet (from meat eater to vegetarian) and in doing so envisioned the nation's first natural-food market, which he eventually built into Whole Foods, a $9 billion business that has revolutionized the food industry. Similarly and against terrific odds, inspiration is what propelled ceramicist Eva Zeisel out of prison, where she had been confined on false accusations, and into the studio, where she rekindled her creative spirit and challenged the rigid fundamentals of Bauhaus design with her curvaceous household ceramics. At 100, Zeisel is still perpetuating that singular vision.
In this Time special supplement, presented by LensCrafters, we look at 25 visionaries who are unafraid of risk and who possess a unique kind of antenna that allows them to pick up on an idea or a feeling that is way out there on the edge. It's through their extraordinary vision—a sort of cultural or social lens—that we can see our own life experiences and ideas changing.
The Visionaries: PAOLA ANTONELLI ANDRE BALAZS YVES BEHAR DOMENICO DE SOLE ROB FORBES TOM FORD NORMAN FOSTER NICOLAS GHESQUIERE NICOLAS G. HAYEK NICK HAYEK JR. JAIME HAYON JOHN MACKEY FREDERIC MALLE JASPER MORRISON NAU COLLECTIVE MARK PARKER ANNE-SOPHIE PIC MIUCCIA PRADA PHILIPPE STARCK MARGARETA VAN DEN BOSCH ANDREW WEIL EVA ZEISEL