I know hardly anything about design except that I am a designer. I have made a few things in my life, and now I am trying to remake the very life of mine – of who I am and what I do. This personal re-creation project is to some extent inspired by the maker culture in its critical mode (if these terms are new to you and you wish to learn more, you can check this out and then hear this podcast). In other words, I am trying to DIY myself against the odds, and I hope that rambling about it may help me, and perhaps may inspire some of you out there.
By the way, ‘DE-sign’ in the title of this post is not a typo. It has just occurred to me that in order to remake ourselves we need to de-sign – to erase ‘the sign’ that the old identity had imprinted on us. We need to take off the social categories that are not fitting us anymore. De-ice, de-install, de-junk. Yes, sometimes this means walking naked for a while. So what?! Go swimming and feel like a fish in water! That should feel awesome after feeling like a fish in the concrete for quite some time.
I used to make thoughts, observations, critiques, ideas and concepts; research proposals and research protocols; interviews and structured observations; tables, models and presentations; reports, academic papers and reviews… Occasionally, I also used to make fuss (mostly for a good reason). I loved what I did, and then I got really, really tired, disillusioned and stuck.
Now I left behind all of that. I may use, now and then, the old trade of mine, but I want to start making something different, something more connected to life. Something that takes people as more than words and numbers. Something to do with experience and atmospheres. Something that makes more sense and feels more true. That’s why traveling, doing yoga, meditating, swimming, eating, writing, talking to people and taking photos made so much sense in the last year. I finally felt true and alive again.
I allowed myself to be free, silly and playful. To see the eyes and the mouth on the Moon’s surface, and to be amused by shapes of clouds, and colours of the sunshine. And to make sculptures of simple plastic pegs!
I read somewhere that in order to reinvent yourself it is important to remember what you liked when you were a child, and this is what I am doing right now. Connecting to the moments of that feeling of being 100% myself, and than drafting, jotting, sketching, dotting, floating… and meandering without guilt or pressure. I will share with you some of those sketches of the new life when ready.
In the meantime, I will also try to read about design thinking. This seems like a good list to start with. Please feel free to share any ideas of good reads or deeds when it comes to remaking who we are.