John Maeda’s Wife Bet Their Five Daughters He Wouldn’t Land RISD Gig


It seems even the King of Simplicity feels vulnerable from time to time. New RISD president John Maeda reveals that during the selection process he was feeling less-than-confident in his ability to snag the gig. In this interview with Steven Heller, Maeda says that fate and even his family was rooting against him:

Really from the beginning, I thought I’d never have a chance at getting the job. Once it had materialized as a possibility I recall my wife, Kris, betting all my kids–five girls–that “Daddy can’t get this job.” Add to that I showed up 30 minutes late for the interview, as I was stuck in a meeting at MIT that I couldn’t leave. Somehow I got the “callback,” and after that point somehow remained during each phase of the process.

And how does he feel since he told them so? Well, that’s his favorite fortune cookie message above. Words to live by.

Update: We were just alerted that our headline could also read as if Kris Maeda bet–as in wagered–their offspring against John’s chances at RISD presidenthood. We assure you that the Maedas are not, nor they ever have been, involved in the vicious underworld of child-gambling.