jaden smith wants to open an office at m.i.t.
“I just want to teach people how to be comfortable. Stop being so scared."
Jaden Smith likes to present himself as a mystical explorer, floating happily through the Twittersphere. But that's just one layer of his onion-like persona. In a new interview with GQ, the Smith child explains some of the methods behind his madness.
"Me and Willow are scientists," he tells writer Zach Baron, "so everything for us is a scientific test upon humanity. And luckily we're put in a position where we can affect large groups of human beings at one time." He brings up that now-famous T magazine story in which he and Willow gave answers like "because living." People reacted to it, he says, exactly how he and his sister expected. "It's fun, bro," he explains, adding, "I feel like it's an honor, actually, for people to think I'm crazy. Because they thought Galileo was crazy, too, you know what I'm saying? I don't think I'm as revolutionary as Galileo, but I don't think I'm not as revolutionary as Galileo."
Further proof that Jaden and Willow are super smart media magicians rather than space cadets: they have a crazy-amazing obsession with learning. The interview includes a lengthy discussion of Jaden and Willow's "Mystery School," which is what they call their home school. The Smiths get to choose a large part of what they study (Jaden recently taught himself how to build a pyramid and made a 12.5-foot-tall one in his family home), and they hope to inspire other kids to follow their academic interests, too.
Jaden's own passions, including pyramid making, will eventually lead him to college, he thinks. And he hopes to one day "set up offices at MIT just so I can learn and bring in new technologies into the world." And then, ten years from now, he will pull off his biggest media trick yet: he's going to go off the grid. He says he's been planning his own disappearance since he was 13: "No one will know what I'm doing [...] It'll be kind of like Banksy. But in a different way. More of a social impact. Helping people. But through art installations."
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography Columbine Goldsmith