Interesting interview by Om Malik (and with excellent photographs by Cliff Englert):
Om: If you were to give advice to younger designers, web
developers, web app makers, what would you tell them?
Erik: Learn as much about our culture as you possibly can, by
reading, by traveling, by involving yourself in things that go on.
But don’t become an artist. Don’t think, “I’ll do it intuitively.”
You have to learn if not to code at least to appreciate code, to
understand code. Because code is what nuts and bolts were a
hundred years ago.
If you don’t know anything about mechanics, you can’t survive in
this world. If you don’t know anything about how a computer works
or code works, as a communicator, which is what a designer is —
the interface between machines and man, that’s what we are. We are
the interface, we interpret what the machine says into visible
language. If you don’t understand how the machine works, you’re
going to be laughed out of the room by the engineering guys,
because you can’t communicate with them.