YOU NOTICE THE WILD everything, the mass expanse, if you can just do this one thing.
See the now.
It’s not just about where we put the tables or how the light goes, though that is certainly important.
Space design isn’t just architecture, though architecture was the first field I tested out my feelings in, and met with lots of walls.
(People weren’t interested in how it would feel to walk within the spaces, as much as I’d imagined they would be, or the human scale of it. I guess picking out the pictures that would go in the corridors of some hospital in rural North Carolina was the closest I got in those first few jobs to do what I now do more and more. Making the space for people to really stop, really see. Look at one another. Because what is more interesting than another human being?)
Eye contact. It’s so pretty.
Started in on trying to design for this in 2014. A summer program. Staff. A chance to do anything, really. An open road. So I said, ‘Okay. Let’s do it. Let’s do an unconference. How about that? We’ll call it… S. P. A. C. E.’
Bit conceptual, maybe.
Yet I thought, this is a nerdy college. Maybe it’s okay. Maybe it’s fun.
Maybe it’ll be like my summer school days, way back in high school, and we’ll sit around in circles talking art, philosophy, emergence, imaginary numbers, the golden ratio, and Flatland, and, and…
So we did the unconference, just to see. But, not really. Not how I pictured it. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t known, this air-space-comfort vibe I talk about in hypothetical space, or because it was too weird. But the people who did take part, I think, they liked the looseness of it. And BO. She came. B, whom I hadn’t seen in 20 years. Seriously. And her friend. And for that, I was grateful. Because that’s when I knew, S. P. A. C. E. is a thing. At least two varied groups colliding in a mix. New and different others, convening, converging. Gathering. By design. In the thing, the thing!,
That thing being this concept, let’s talk about __________, in a shared moment of timespace.
A bounded box.
Then, I got excited.
IS IT RUDE? Maybe it is. To say the ‘design industry’ and its choices no longer intrigue me. I don’t care about the velvety chairs or the sexy lamps. Not now. I used to care about architecture and design and clean lines and all of that. Minimalist Japanese or Scandinavian style. I’d been to Kyoto. I’d hung out in Copenhagen. Picking up posters, design magazines, architecture brochures, the whole shebang.
But no. Not now. No one aesthetic, no singular style is for me. That’s all… a bit too sterile for me now. Now I care about the interplay, the people who are there. Made a parallel transition personally, opting away from fancy restaurants towards low-key diners. From the large-scale concert hall to the local cafe for a jazzy jam session, much more close. Easier to see. To see and be seen. To hear and be heard. Art, at its best, is a conversation. Isn’t it? In which… well. I’ll tell you more if you ask me. (Email through the form on this page).
Unboundedness. Expansive big black empty.
This which is here, that which is now. Feeling it. All of it. All together. Magic moment? Something like that. It’s about the feeling you get when you go into a place, the sense of awareness you get when you are suddenly in a spot where you feel comfortable, with others, new and different others—those are the kinds of bounded boxes I’m designing. The kind you can go into and be like, ‘Whoa. What’s going on here?”
It’s sort of an improvisational play, it’s sort of a game, it’s sort of a design project, it’s sometimes a workshop, often a salon.
There’s so much to it.
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