It’s week 20. I’ve handwritten 20 cards so far in 2014. They’re hiding on Instagram. And boy, I love this project. While writing and drawing, I learn a lot. That’s to say: I meet newness. This story is about materials.
In San Francisco, I made the long haul to the MUJI store, located amongst – I could have guessed – a collective of homeware,- and furniture stores. I didn’t realize American city centers apply the mall philosophy to most of their retail. The advantage: it’s a massive MUJI.
MUJI sells stationery, but also clothes and furniture, cooking utensils and bathroom necessities. All in the name of simplicity. Naoto Fukusawa and Jasper Morrison are two designers who have openly contributed to the MUJI collection. Most designers are anonymous to the purchasing public.
In their book Super Normal they point us to those objects, often overseen by the conscious, yet subconsciously greatly valued. The same holds for my MUJI pens: 0.38, 0.5 and 0.7 mm. Each pen makes me draw and write differently. I didn’t expect a tenth of a millimeter difference would inspire new words and images.
The new is so incredibly close.
It’s strange when things really fall into place. When decluttering my home in Amsterdam, just ahead of New Year’s Eve, I decided to throw away at least 5 years of conference badges. (Why do I keep them in the first place – I wonder.)
Five minutes later, my phone rang. My mother. She pointed me to a conference in San Francisco she was eager to attend: Wisdom 2.0. It took me a split-second of Googling to realize that conference embodies a movement I’ve always felt part of. Here, speakers are monks and tech entrepreneurs, programmers and neuroscientists.
My current teachings at the Design Academy about social design, building meaningful interactions with Daniël and chairing the board at Your Lab all point to – playful – mindfulness in action. Eventually.
So, hold your horses, since I’ll definitely put down the fruits of my stay in San Francisco on Living Antenna. A virtual monastery for the mind, I’ve just learned.
So far, I’ve heard about many type of new approaches to food-related hospitality emerging. Some restaurants change their looks and menu every other week, or month. Others are mobile and drive around constantly, which can be seen at this weekend’s Kitchens-on-Wheels-Festival in Amsterdam.
But the newest, and most exciting I’ve come across lately was introduced by this line:
They Gather Secretly at Night, and Then They (Shhh!) Eat.
It’s the title of this article in the New York Times, explaining the magnetizing effect of underground markets, and secretly set-up food fests, in particular in San Francisco. We might have our Amsterdam counterpart with the Youth Food Movement’s Eat-Ins, amazingly successful events where everyone brings their own foodies, and collectively shares and.. yes, eats. But that’s not really secretive and night-owly enough, yet.
Eating at night has something more to it. First of all, anything that takes place at night is exciting and mysterious. And eating-at-night is also peculiar, side-stepping our routine of three meals a day. And secondly, when it concerns food, at night your other senses might be put to the test, too. Often our eyes determine what we eat, going for an appetizing appearance or familiarity. Let’s move from looks, to taste, smell. And. Touch.