100 Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary Things
A witty, uncompromising voice on consumer behavior, marketing, design, and pop culture, Rob Walker has been called “the most trenchant psychoanalyst of our consumer selves” by Michael Pollan. In new talks based on his eBay art experiment, Significant Objects, he suggests that the things we own aren’t valuable—but the stories we tell about them are.
Rob Walker’s column “The Workologist” appears in The New York Times Sunday Business section, and he contributes regularly to Design Observer. Previously he wrote the Consumed column for The New York Times Magazine, and was a columnist for Yahoo News and Yahoo Tech. He is also co-founder of many creative projects. With Joshua Glenn, Walker—a provocative, refreshing voice on technology—is the co-founder of Significant Objects, a widely praised online experiment that seeks to pinpoint what, exactly, makes our material objects valuable to us. Other recent projects include The Hypothetical Development Organization, a public-art project that imagines engaging uses for neglected buildings, which he co-founded.
A go-to voice on branding, material culture and related fields, Walker has written for a wide array of publications, from Adbusters to Slate to The Wall Street Journal. His books include Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, a Salon Best Nonfiction Book of 2008, and Letters From New Orleans. Walker’s opinions are routinely quoted in everything from magazine articles to thesis papers, and, in 2011, he won praise for his appearance in Objectified, a documentary about our relationship to everyday design. A book version of Significant Objects, by the same name, was released in 2012.
“Rob Walker was great. We enjoyed his presentation and his message was really well received. There was a lot of buzz about his concepts. He got a lot of laughs. I would hire him again. He was so flexible and easy to work with—which is always a treat. Thanks for your help!”Minnesota Medical Foundation