Works That Work issue 4
Delivered to Stack subscribers in  Dec 2014

by Steve Watson in December 2014
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A magazine of unexpected creativity, Works That Work takes a totally fresh approach to design to shine a light on the most ingenious – and often under-appreciated – creations of our times.

Read on to hear from Peter Bilak, designer and publisher, in our interview…

Peter Bilak

Job title
Designer / Publisher

What is Works That Work?
Works That Work is a newish international magazine about creativity in unexpected places. For example, we write about the oldest company in the world and how it survived that long, what army chefs cook during conflict, how turning arrows upside-down on highway signs improves traffic flow, or how to design a message that will last 20 times longer than any records of our civilisation. Stories that make great dinner stories to tell your friends.

What makes it different to the rest?
When magazines report on design they often stay on the surface — it’s often about the embellishment. It’s easy to forget that creativity is used by almost everyone, not just artists and designers, and that all man-made things are designed.

We document the fact that design is not the exclusive domain of artists or designers, but something that surrounds us in our daily lives, something so embedded in our everyday experience that it often escapes our attention. We look beyond the surface, to see how people improve their lives by innovation, creativity and design. Often in situations with less resources, people tend to be more creative, and we look at overlooked examples of creativity.

Who makes Works That Work?
A small team of people in the Netherlands. We’d like to call WTW an independent magazine, but in reality we are completely dependent on our readers.

Who reads it?
Jacques — an architect in Paris; Rahul — an engineer in Delhi; Marc – a designer in Stockholm; Angeles – a teacher from Santiago de Chile; Lukas — a choreographer in The Hague; Lucy — a photographer from London; Bart — programmer that I share the office with; and about 5,000 other curious people willing to learn something that they never heard about before.

Why do you work in magazines?
I like reading; it’s a great way to learn new things constantly. A magazine is the perfect medium pitched between a book and newspaper, but unfortunately it became dominated by advertisers. We try to change this and make a magazine for the readers, often my friends.

Aside from the print magazine, what are you involved in?
I run a design studio in The Hague.

What would you change about Works That Work if you could?
WTW is the result of a long process of thinking what would I change about magazines if I could. Every issue is getting closer to that vision, and the last one is almost there. Instead of complaining about other magazines, I started a new one.

Where do you see Works That Work in five years?
It’s very hard to create long term goals, but i just wish to be as excited about this magazine in a couple of years as I am right now.

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