Today with a few classmates, we had a small circle council about design processes. For those who don’t know what council is I have a small definition:

Council is an old method of space creating for people to freely introduce their thoughts and feelings on a subject. The participants sit in a circle for everyone to have an equal position and a talking object is introduced to the group, so only the person with the talking object can speak. This provides a free space for that person to go deeper in his/her explanation but at the same time allows for other people to build on the subject. The Way of Council.reGeneration.

I discovered this method during my time in Turkey, for effective communication to build communities, especially after the revolt movement created a need for an equal base for vocalizing opinions. Here are what came out of our little session:

  • “It takes a long time to figure out what design is and you need to fail a lot to learn from it.”
  • “Design process is messy and there are times when you thing “oh shit, what will I do” but it somehow turns out okay.”
  • “You need to have a good reason to put time into making a prototype. You need to know the “why”. It is so not simple and so not repetitive. Depends on the process and project.”
  • “There will be ups and downs, it’s inevitable. You know you’re going to fail but view it as an opportunity to grow, since it is hard to progress as a designer without failing.”
  • Letting go and discovering your own methods of working.
  • “You need to explain the reasons behind your decisions. You need to reflect on your perspective and thought.”
  • “I’m overwhelmed with all the ideas I have and I am afraid to select the simple ones. Cause when I pick the simple thing people may think that I may not think more complex. Using the process to show intellect or to convince people that I am a good problem solver but it is not just about that!”
  • “I always dependent on others to validate my ideas before I moved on. Freelancing benefitted me, being on my own and having no one in the same sphere helped me to trust my own ideas. Even though I’m confident on my decisions questioning the decisions from the feedback of others is important for me.”

Some inspiration

guerrilla-graphics-09hAnna Hillman – Guerilla Graphics
Guerrilla graphics involves chalking up messages to question, suggest or simply just to point out something about the immediate environment, in order to share what you’ve discovered with others who might be passing by later.


Stefan Seigmeister – Power of time off
Every seven years, designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York studio for a yearlong sabbatical to rejuvenate and refresh their creative outlook. He explains the often overlooked value of time off and shows the innovative projects inspired by his time in Bali.

delayomatHolger Klapperich – Delay-o-mat
The delay-o-mat is a vending machine with two opportunities of delivery: Fast or delayed. In the slow track,the can is handled with care and the performance and the delivery is entertaining. When the user chooses the fast delivery, the quality of the experience is poorer.

slow_stamp_600Inna Alesina – Test Kitchen for Change
Test Kitchen for Change produces participatory bread making events that encourage people to embrace slower processes in their lives.

More to come…


John Cage quotes

They may be not directly related to my topic, but in them I feel the essence of my process.

“I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I’m doing.” 

“When you start working, everybody is in your studio- the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas- all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.” 

“If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.” 

More quotes on here and an interesting video where Cage performs using various “instruments” on here

Notes from Momo

The book Momo by Michael Ende has been a great inspiration to me. I loved reading it and there were some real nice quotes that I wanted to note down in order not to forget!

No, what Momo was better at than anyone else was listening.
“You see, Momo,” he told her one day, “it’s like this. Sometimes, when you’ve a very long street ahead of you, you think how terribly long it is and feel sure you’ll never get it swept.” He gazed silently into space before continuing. “And then you start to hurry,” he went on. “You work faster and faster, and every time you look up there seems to be just as much left to sweep as before, and you try even harder, and you panic, and in the end you’re out of breath and have to stop — and still the street stretches away in front of you. That’s not the way to do it.” He pondered a while. Then he said, “You must never think of the whole street at once, understand? You must only concentrate on the next step, the next breath, the next stroke of the broom, and the next, and the next. Nothing else.” Again he paused for thought before adding, “That way you enjoy your work, which is important, because then you make a good job of it. And that’s how it ought to be.” There was another long silence. At last he went on, “And all at once, before you know it, you find you’ve swept the whole street clean, bit by bit. What’s more, you aren’t out of breath.” He nodded to himself. “That’s important, too,” he concluded.
People never seemed to notice that, by saving time, they were losing something else. No one cared to admit that life was becoming ever poorer, bleaker and more monotonous. The ones who felt this most keenly were the children, because no one had time for them any more. But time is life itself, and life resides in the human heart. And the more people saved, the less they had.
They were highly expensive toys such as Momo’s friends had never owned, still less Momo herself. Most noticeable of all, they were so complete, down to the tiniest detail, that they left nothing at all to the imagination. Their owners would spend hours watching them, mesmerized but bored, as they trundled, whizzed or waddled along. Finally, when that palled, they would go back to the familiar old games in which a couple of cardboard boxes, a torn tablecloth, a molehill or a handful of pebbles were quite sufficient to conjure up a whole world of make-believe.
There were no hands or numerals on the watch face, Momo saw, just two very fine superimposed spirals rotating slowly in opposite directions. Every now and then, minute dots of light appeared where the spirals intersected. “This watch,” said Professor Hora, “is known as a crisimograph. It accurately records crises in the history of mankind,
“No, my child, the watch by itself would be no use to anyone. You have to know how to read it as well.”
“If people knew the nature of death,” he said after a moment’s silence, “they’d cease to be afraid of it. And if they ceased to be afraid of it, no one could rob them of their time any more.”
She would stop running away, Momo decided. She had done so in the hope of saving herself. All this time she had been preoccupied with herself, her own loneliness and fear, when it was really her friends who were in trouble. If anyone could save them, she could. Remote as the chances of persuading the men in gray to release them might be, she must at least try. Once she reached this conclusion, she felt a mysterious change come over her. Her feelings of fear and helplessness had reached such a pitch that they were suddenly transformed into their opposites. Having overcome them, she felt courageous and self-confident enough to tackle any power on earth; more precisely, she had ceased to worry about herself.
That, of course, was the secret of the district with the snow-white houses: the slower you went the better progress you made, and the more you hurried the slower your rate of advance. The men in gray hadn’t known that when they pursued Momo in their cars, which was how she’d escaped them.
Children played in the middle of the street, getting in the way of cars whose drivers not only watched and waited, smiling broadly, but sometimes got out and joined in their games. People stood around chatting with the friendliness of those who take a genuine interest in their neighbours’ welfare. Other people, on their way to work, had time to stop and admire the flowers in a window-box or feed the birds. Doctors, too, had time to devote themselves properly to their patients, and workers of all kinds did their jobs with pride and loving care, now that they were no longer expected to turn out as much work as possible in the shortest possible time. They could take as much time as they needed and wanted, because from now on there was enough time for everyone.