here is a photo of my workspace above in all of its glory. this was during a late night work session, hence the lack of overhead light.
i’ve noticed recently how unorganized my desk is. not that this is new or surprising to me, as my desks have always been rather disorganized and “ugly”, as far as desks go.
it is quite often that i pass by the desks of my peers and with some slight jealousy, ponder how they are able to keep their spaces so neat. it also happens that even those whose desks are disheveled still manage to create some beautiful form of chaos in the space which they create.
although the semester is nearly over, i’m putting desk cleaning on my list of things to do. i’ll be back with a photo once i’ve taken care of business.
i’m elated to report that my rocks have made it through the first firing! after finally figuring out how to mix my porcelain, thanks to my friends eszti + noriko, i cast the rocks… more or less successfully!
the photo above is the current state of the rocks. the pin holes were a suggestion by my girlfriend, min, and i will expand upon the idea once returning from vacation.
ja, ha ~ hej!
i’m right in the middle of my second hdk project that will hopefully be shown this coming february at the 2010 stockholm furniture fair here in sweden and it has been quite an interesting experience.
first a little background, because i’m sure that the image of a rock above may be confusing to those that know my work from before.
i came to hdk with the idea that i would be focusing on the intersection between typography + language and using that to frame different aspects of culture and life. my first project (http://secondcities.net) focused on trying to unveil the daily treasures that help make a city what it is – to reveal its identity through Real-time Archaeology; documenting a place in the present for preservation of experiences and memories. to me this seemed like a good project to help orient me in the city and make me more aware of my surroundings. it was also intended as a segway into projects more specific to understanding of sweden and swedish culture.
now if we come to present day you can see above that i’ve been doing something completely unrelated. this was, in fact, by design and not by accident. our current course gives us the option to either create a product / object / furniture that may be exhibited at the furniture fair or to take part in the organizing / collateral design / exhibition design for the hdk stand at the fair. despite my initial interest in taking on one of the design roles, i thought that i should really push my boundaries and try to create a physical product – something i’ve never done before.
my object is a light in the form of a slip-casted porcelain rock that i collected from an island here in göteborg called brännö (about 1 hr away by public transit, including ferry). in my life i have had numerous experiences where the role of light has been significant either in creating the atmosphere that allowed for the experience or by acting as a way for me to recall those memories. here is a (romantic) excerpt from my project description:
why do we choose to create in our own personal caves with lights dimmed, screens glowing, and surrounded by the dark; make friends over coffee in the warm light of candlesin the pitch black afternoon; gather around the fire when we have nothing but the forest around us and sky above; or fall in love as the sun rises, casting its gentle warmth against the early morning clouds?
by using light sources and hand processes (thereby creating a pure + direct translation from ideation to implementation) i will create the possibility for a better world by giving the opportunity for people to bond, find a meeting of minds, and understand each other through the shared experience of conversation and silent moments.
more to come later, i’m excited to see how this turns out.
without further adieu, i’m excited to announce that the my first project at hdk, SecondCities/Göteborg is ready for (semi) public unveiling!
Tokyo, New York, London, Stockholm, Seoul – while these ‘First Cities’ of the world lay claim to the highest populations, busiest streets, and fanciest clothes, they fail to impress with their big city attitude and glossy veneer.
Second Cities across the world – whether they are the places we were born and raised, studied in or passed through on our way to somewhere else – captivate us with their down-to-earth lifestyles, friendly people and underground cultures like no other place can. They are all inextricably linked through the sharing of certain common characteristics that are inadequately described in purely academic analysis. This project aims to unearth these areas of overlap + connection.
please take a minute to check out the site and get an on-the-ground-view of this amazing city: http://goteborg.secondcities.net
also, i’d love to hear any feedback here in the comments or via e-mail.
although i haven’t yet publicly launched my introductory project at hdk – SecondCities/ – i am already starting to dive into my second course titled “homo ludens: the tools of play”, in which i will create a product and exhibit it at the stockholm furniture fair this coming february.
for me, this is quite a bit change in the type of project and medium i work with. coming from a rather traditional graphic design background with some dabbling in web design + development as well, making my first foray into the world of product design is quite a daunting task. while there is no doubt in my mind that i can adapt my process to this new way of thinking, i can’t help but be a little bit intimidated!
the framework that the design masters grade 1 (dm1) students are working with is the idea of play – yes, quite an abstract concept. it seems like the course is constructed to help the school launch their child culture design programme, the door of opportunity has been left wide open and i intend to fully embrace it.
my project will find my concerning myself mostly with lighting to help create chances to share and learn from ourselves and friends in 1:1 encounters and small group gatherings. as i have been jotting down ideas tonight, i realized how intertwined light and the atmosphere it helps create affect mood and conversation, and how that in turn makes it possible for people to open up, feel closer, and share with each other. obviously, this is not a finished concept, but i’m quite excited with this start and am looking forward to my first group tutoring session tomorrow morning to start getting feedback.
over the past 5 weeks or so things at school have gone from totally relaxed to the beginnings of what will be full on craziness.
a little background: our class has about 19 people in it right now from all over the world. the majority are from sweden (no surprise there), but the rest of us come from thailand, korea, japan, and the united states (that would be me). among us are product designers, industrial designers, illustrators, graphic designers/artists, interior architects, and more. to say that none of us intend to wear just one hat in the next two years would be a complete understatement. rather, the brilliance of the program is the shared knowledge that we have together as one unit combined with the desire to crossover the traditional boundaries we face as ‘designers’.
we have been broken up into discipline specific groups as well as mixed groups to encourage quality feedback and exposure. the first few group and individual meetings with teachers and students yielded rather few results, but today – after having shown our portfolios to each other last week – we all got to see the progress being made on our individual projects.
i took the picture above this afternoon during our mixed group meeting. you can see our teacher, ulf (far right), discussing tommy’s work (left) while albert looks on in the foreground. everyone is working on quite different projects at this point, and it is really inspiring to be in this kind of environment.
but don’t just take my word for it, to give a little bit of insight to the type of work being done in class right now, take a look at this flickr set. i think you will be inspired by what you see.
my friend minyup has recently started playing the ukulele. he is actually quite good and has been playing ‘rain drops keep falling on my head’ the past week or so. i would be lying if i didn’t admit that as a result the song has gotten stuck in my head a few times.
here is a low quality recording from my iphone, but thought it would be nice to share some of the hdk experience.