Lois Farfel Stark was a producer/writer for NBC News, filming in Africa, the Middle East, Cuba, Northern Ireland, Europe, and throughout the USA. She covered Abu Dhabi's catapult to the 20th century, Cuba ten years after their revolution, the Israeli Air Force in the Six Day War, Northern Ireland during its time of religious conflict, and Liberia's social split. She produced and wrote films on architecture, medical research, wilderness protection, artists, and social issues among her forty documentaries, earning an EMMY and Golds in international film festivals.
In civic life, she has been a Director/Trustee of Sarah Lawrence College, St. John's School, Texas Children's Hospital, The Alley Theater, The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Small Business Council, The Harry Ransom Center, Texas Philosophical Society, Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Committee for the Humanities, The Joseph Campbell Foundation, Harvard Kennedy School Women's Leadership Board, and a fellow of American Leadership Forum and The Center for Houston's future. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence college and has two Master's degrees in Communication and Education.
Her years of film-making stimulated her interest in how what we see shapes what we think. We are accustomed to history being told as a story of kings and wars. It can also be seen by looking at the shape of shelters, social systems, and sacred sites.
The Telling Image
The Telling Image: Shapes of Changing Times
How do humans make sense of the world? In answer to this timeless question, award winning documentary filmmaker, Lois Farfel Stark, takes the reader on a remarkable journey from tribal ceremonies in Liberia and the pyramids in Egypt, to the gravity-defying architecture of modern China. Drawing on her experience as a global explorer, Stark unveils a crucial, hidden key to understanding the universe: Shape itself.
The Telling Image is a stunning synthesis of civilization’s changing mindsets, a brilliantly original perspective urging you to re-envision history not as a story of kings and wars but through the lens of shape. In this sweeping tour through time, Stark takes us from migratory humans, who imitated a web in round-thatched huts and stone circles, to the urban ladder of pyramids and skyscrapers, organized by hierarchy and measurements, to today’s world of interconnected networks.
In The Telling Image Stark reveals how buildings, behaviors, and beliefs reflect humans’ search for pattern and meaning. We can read the past and glimpse the future by watching when shapes shift. Stark’s beautifully illustrated book asks of all its readers: See what you think.
Press and Media Mentions
- "To understand the genius of Elon Musk, Thomas Edison, and Mark Zuckerberg, just look at their desks" - Desks have long been the home of the mind: an intimate space where you figure out what you think. Desk spaces have changed through the years to accommodate different styles and types of work, and the recent trend toward co-working also represents a change in the nature of the workplace...
- "Childhood landscapes influence the way we lead—so what does Queens say about Trump?" - The geography of our childhood helps shape our understanding of the world. The place where we grow up is the starting point of our identity and perception, our first context for reality...
- TEDxSMU - "Shape: Hiding in Plain Sight."
- "The design world’s next trendy shape is all about communicating the interconnectivity of the universe"
- The Culture News interview with David Serero discussing Lois Stark's upcoming Ted Talk and the ideas in her forthcoming book.
- Lois Stark: The Telling Image Presented by the Houston Seminar Date: Tuesday, November 14th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm Location: American General Conference Room, Mezzanine Level, Audrey Jones Beck Building, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 5601 Main Street. Parking available in garage. Documentary filmmaker Lois Stark notes that history is often told as a story of rulers and wars; she prefers to tell the story of human history through the lens of shape. Ms. Stark will illustrate the mental maps that shape how humans build shelters, bind social systems, and form sacred sites. She avers that early humans understood the world as a web, building round thatched huts and stone circles. In contrast, industrial age humans saw the world as a ladder, ordered by hierarchy and measurement, from pyramids to skyscrapers. In today’s interconnected world, she contends, networks are our mental map, as seen in everything from architecture to biology to social media. By noticing past shapes, Ms. Stark asserts th