△Three things that stood out to me
Buddha can give me money
I went to the ABC carpet store for some inspiration. From one corner to another, it felt like I was traveling to different exoticized places in the world. One thing that was truly different from any store I have visited in my life so far is that customers put dollar bills in religious statues. When I asked the employees what it was about, one of them answered that the rich (who have too much money) put it there. “Sometimes it becomes so ridiculous we take the money away.” The store gives the money to charities later—which is pretty cool. Curious as I am, I wanted to understand the kind of customers the store has. According to an employee, on an average weekday 900 people come in. On weekends, this number doubles. And yet, only 30% leave with a purchase. “They come in, especially tourists, look at things, say it’s pretty but can’t afford it. They are here to clean their eyes.” I shared with him that I thought everything was overpriced. He replied: “welcome to the club.” To my surprise, even if the employees get discounts, they still can’t afford anything. It made him feel like he does not belong there. “It’s only for the rich women…. But Buddha can give you money” (laughs).
Noordzij’s object to teach type
I went to a lecture by Erik Van Blokland on Noordzij’s cube at the Cooper Union. It has a grid of 5 by 5 by 5 creating a cube of 125 items even if only 61 are visible. The image appears to be some sort of isometric projection, but has some perspective. When Noordzij made it, his theory was about how a designer could think about shapes then it has evolved into a model of interpolations and variable fonts—all the shapes a font can take. According to Van Blockland, the cube means that good design needs to happen in every space where it stands. Noordzij wanted to create an imaginary formula of good typography and create a diagram to teach it. In this talk, I was mostly fascinated by the human need of rationalizing and standardizing something that can (thankfully) never be fully rationalized and standardized.
Mucha’s Nouvelle Femme
Sunday afternoon. What a sunny afternoon! I went to Poster House, a new poster museum in NYC. I really loved Cyan’s work in the 1990s in Germany, but I decided to focus on Mucha—probably the most famous graphic designer of the Art Nouveau movement. I was in awe in front of his posters with these strong and independent women that he portrayed, replacing the submissive girlish women in the advertising world, and thus offering a new alternative in the discourse of what women could be in the 1890s. Mucha was a feminist.
☐ 1 thing that made sense to me
I am a cyborg
I spent most of my week working very late at night, starting very early and not getting enough rest. Introducing a metal plate and screws in my leg changed a lot in me. All these late nights really affected me physically (not mentally) up to a point that my left leg went numb for two days, making it really hard for me to walk properly. My leg went back to being my leg two days later. My mind thinks it can handle everything, but my body has the final word… and so does my team. By the end of the day on Friday, they forced me to leave. I use the word forced because I honestly just wanted to keep working and forget about my leg. The lesson here is: I should treat my body with more care because I am a cyborg (yes, that’s right). AND, I am very grateful for my awesome team.
○ 1 Question
How do we get over doubt?
I am constantly doubting myself and questioning everything. Do I work too slow? Am I good enough? Am I pushing the thinking? Am I being useful to the team? Am I contributing positively to the conversation? This week, I had the chance to get breakfast with the CEO of SYP, Susan Schuman. I asked her if she ever felt the same. She answered that the system is built to embed doubt in every woman. Her answer resonated with me but also raised another question: How do we get over doubt? I think Sam and I have the same question #stickynotessecrets.