Grow in many directions

Why do so many of us devote our lives to specialization? Is it because society demands this dedication to achieve success? Or is it simply the perception of success? Recently, I was asked in an interview what I did for a living, and I said I haven’t decided yet. Last year I turned 70.

“It seems the pursuit of financial success has clouded man's destiny.”

Stephen MeadowsDesigner, Owl Eyes

Admiration for the attainment of success without integrity affirms a regrettable disbelief in the objective of humanity.

Stephen Meadows

Steve was educated in Georgia, served in the Marine Corps and received his college teaching credential at the University of California, San Francisco. He began practice in 1974 and taught architecture and industrial design until 1983 at San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, City College of San Francisco and the Academy of Art. While a tenured faculty instructor, Stephen was the design director for several architectural firms in San Francisco and responsible for commercial projects such as the Stanford Shopping Center, Union Bank and Neiman Marcus stores.

A patented inventor and architect, Meadows’ award-winning works have been published worldwide, including Progressive Architecture, Forbes, Business Week, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Popular Mechanics and Der Spiegel.

Steve is known to fly aircraft of his own creation. In 1996, he created the Parabounce as a way to raise money for children’s charities, which led him to develop the Parabike, a human-powered aerostat. Parabounce was flown at the Clinton White House, premiered on NBC’s “Today,” and closed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake. His company, One Giant Leap, generated over a million dollars in charitable donations through the One Giant Leap for Humanity events, conceived by Meadows.

While raising his family in Hollywood, Steve had a career as a cinematographer and actor from 1984 to 2001, producing documentaries and performing in over a hundred television productions and dozens of films.

In 2003, Meadows became a volunteer at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying and Destitute in Lima, Peru and was a relief worker the following year after the Tsunami in Sri Lanka, where he supervised the construction of over two-hundred homes for disaster victims. He also volunteers in the Emergency Room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Now retired, Steve spends his time building stuff, volunteering, dabbling in art and developing new ideas to benefit the less fortunate.

Like others with an eclectic life, he’s written a book. The first edition is free to read on the Web.

It’s Only Life