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LET’S SEE. Where were we?

Oh, yes.

Talking about design.

Design is making meaning, some of us used to say, when we were working in that space. But now, it’s not just that. Meaning is… relationship-based. It’s not a thing unless it was received, and you got wind of that reception. Then something happened. But only then.

Then there was meaning made.


If and only if.

It is possible, I believe, to do this beautifully. Relate in a way that’s really lovely, not just… not just someone taking over a space, because they have no idea what anyone’s thinking or feeling… that’s the opposite of what I want to create.

But why is that so common?

One wonders.

One wonders out loud. And if one wonders out loud and another one hears and says, ‘Yeah, why?’ then something happens. One turns into Two. We’re not just talking about individuals, though. We’re talking about the interstitial space.


No. Yes. Wait. Let me keep… may I?

It’s about the in-betweens. Did you listen to it? The Good Stuff? It’s in there.

I get uncomfy in a room when people aren’t really aware of one another, especially whomever we’re there to ‘hear,’ and those ‘leaders’ can’t be bothered to try to care.


INSTALLATIONS. Super fun. Looking forward to making more and still better ways for us to connect, to relate, in ways that are respectful and elegant. Not just a he-said-she-said, like when I was writing news.

Or a bar.

Or work.

It’s different from all of those things.

It’s about the meaning it, the being here, the showing up, the staying with it, the seeing others, the caring, too. 

Because we do care, deeply, ultimately.

That’s just being human.

What we care about and what we want to talk about that we might not even realize we feel deeply, that is what we need to express, I think. And when we can, we can feel like there’s something cool about being here. That we’re not alone. That there’s the good stuff.

All around us, if only we have the capacity to lean in close, to see one another, to hear, to feel, to let our guard down. To look uncool, even. To be free. To be free to be who we really are.

Where are the spaces for that to happen?

Right here.

Right now.

I think. (At least, I’m trying to box it up for us. I’m doing my best. Every year it gets better. More practice, learning. People seem to enjoy themselves. We do a box. It’s fun.)


Evolving space

TEN YEARS AGO or thereabouts, I used to draw with markers. Just line. Keeping it simple. Trace the edges. This picture was from Vermillion in Seattle, when I was living there. What is it?, no one dared to ask though I suspected they were thinking that. If they had spoken to me about it, about ‘Wavular,’ this piece, I might’ve said: ‘Groundless, scaleless, boundless. I think.’ Max Planck inspired it, what with E=hc/l, et al.

Just looking, observing, outlining, really, the world, as Lori Waxman said about what I am up to in her critic 63wpm review (Note: it says I’m a graphic designer by training, and while I’m flattered, that’s not quite right. I’m an engineer, civil. Infrastructure for how a society can efficiently, flourishingly be.) But yeah. Framing it all. In this kind of way where there’s no ground, no baselines, because it’s all about the expansiveness, the lack of scale, really, the sense of the very small and the very large coexisting together. There’s something really lovely about it, when you think about it. That we are part of all that we are, and have been, and continue to be, even after. After! All of this. Pat of that stuff that binds it all, whatever it is. Pretty cool. And yeah, I want to design these spaces so people can wander in to those kinds of boxes and be part of those kinds of moments. Where we are like, ‘Whoa. This is so cool.’ Existing itself is cool. How cool is it that we’re even here?

I’m not sure when I start how it’s going to happen. I just look around, see who’s there, what’s round, what falls to hand. Bricolage style. Some of the time this involves magazines, this involves drawings or talking to people who are there, or making some kind of a poem inspired by something someone I just met has said, and how that goes into the box, and what happens, that’s the play. The playfulness of holding the space and passing the ball, having this dialogue and exchange that’s rich and lovely. I love it. I think the closest I’ve seen to this is the jam session, the jazzy ones. When people are really enjoying themselves, really in the space, equally and with mutual respect. No -isms, here. And no one’s trying to outshine someone else.

Shall we keep going? Click here…