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Claire Parker talks about love at CreativeMornings Amsterdam

CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community, taking place in 152 cities all around the world. The global theme currently being discussed over coffee and pastries is “Love”.


For the latest instalment in Amsterdam, our Executive Creative Director, Claire Parker, was invited to share her views on “Love”. A few of us from the DB studio decided to go along and show our support, and to hear Claire’s personal experiences of love and the many guises in which it can appear in our lives…


Whether it’s love for another person, love for our work, or a more simple love (like watching the sun rise or going for a walk), love is an emotion which forms the lifeblood of our being. Simplifying something so rich and complex down to a single word just doesn’t feel right, and the ancient Greeks seem to have agreed with this sentiment – as Claire discovered – having multiple words for the different nuances of love…


The natural affection between parent and child. Our parents are perhaps the biggest influence on our personalities, with the love that they give us being driven from an in-built desire to give us the best possible start in life.


Brotherly love. A more testing and character-building type of love. For Claire, a middle child, this meant developing many key skills to manage often-heated situations between squabbling siblings: proficient peacekeeper, negotiator and compassionate listener.


Playful affection, or flirting. Not just with other human beings, but in trying out new things, hobbies, creative projects or exploring new horizons.


A more mature love that develops over a long period of time between long-term couples. This type of love involves actively practising goodwill, commitment, compromise and understanding – like the relationships we can develop with our colleagues, who are often more of a second family and with whom you actually spend the majority of your time.


More generalised love. This kind of love isn’t about exclusivity, but about love for all of humanity. You might describe it as unconditional altruism.


Sexual passion and desire. This one’s pretty self-explanatory…!


Claire went on to share her personal experiences of each of these types of love (though understandably avoiding the subject of Eros!), asking herself how the different types of love, which she has given and received, have shaped the person she is today.

For me, the most interesting insight was on the topic of flirting (Ludus) in order to discover the things that we love the most. Beyond the obvious context of getting to know and ultimately falling in love with another person, this subject has particular relevance to our work – after all, isn’t it best to do what you love for a living?

Claire seemed to agree. As somebody who likes to turn her hand to almost any creative project and “give things a go”, she felt that this flirtatious “can-do” approach has helped to broaden her horizons and ultimately led her to find love in what she does on a daily basis here at Design Bridge.


Claire and I discussed this together back at the office, and mooted the idea that the real difference between liking and truly loving something (or someone) is a question of commitment. We flirt with many things throughout our lives – meeting new people, trying out new hobbies or visiting new places – but it takes a real conscious decision to stick with something, and you have to be prepared to take the bad with the good for true love to blossom.

LOVE is driven. If you’re not willing to put in the effort and get involved then there is no reward. So put yourself out there and LOVE and be LOVED. Do what you love, love what you do, and don’t be afraid of trying out a few new things every now and then – who knows, a true love could be waiting around any corner…



CreativeMornings filmed Claire’s talk, and you can watch it here.

Find a CreativeMornings event in a city near you here – it’s a brilliantly inspiring way to start the day.

All photos taken by our very own Richard Rigby – thanks Richard!


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