DESIGN KOMPANY are gathering people in online forums lately, to connect and reconnect. To talk together. In small circles, or larger ones. Sometimes this becomes real life, as in the salon series we have been hosting since 2006 in cities around the world when we find the moment of inspiration and the right mix of people to convene and do what DK likes to think of as ‘a jam.’
A jam session. A place to show up, as you are, with what you have to contribute.
Music has a lot of parallels with design.
There are stanzas, which are ‘rooms’ (the Italian word for ‘room’ is stanza, yes?). There are moments of silence, when we are at rest. We play off of one another’s expressions. This is conversation: at its best, the salon space and jam session each makes a room for a particular kind of art. (I will tell you more if we meet online or in real life, because there’s more to say but you need to have a section of getting-to-know-you time for it to be, well, interesting.)
An important part of making it so that it gets interesting is continuity. Progression. So a huge part of the high-quality jam is having shown up, over time.
This was the big learning from 2 years of hosting online programs. It matters. Showing up. Over time.
That’s why we are hosting S P A C E online now. Too. I mean, there are always real-life things.
But as our team continues to learn and shift and grow, we are still connecting with new people, wherever in the world we go. Sometimes we move. Or others move.
This is the world we are in right now, isn’t it? Digital, roaming.
But so? Why should that have to curtail the momentum?
When there’s a flow, when the feeling is good, when you have a good feeling about a person and what they might bring to the circle of ideas in good time, when they are ready, why not keep talking? I am thinking of Edward de Bono’s book, Six Thinking Hats. I am thinking of his Thinking Club, which he said needed to be six people who show up regularly. I am thinking of some things I overheard about a certain mens’ group here in Phnom Penh that may or may not fizzle due to lack of commitment by people showing up over time. There is something here, very surely. We need sustained connection. To have the conversation that will take us places, that will be interesting, over time.
Watching people play music together who have been doing it for a long time is a nice thing to do, as long as you can see that they still enjoy their connection, right? And that’s the same with artist collectives, design houses, and even teams of people at their jobs in other dimensions that I can only imagine about. I know that of the three architecture firms I worked for, only one had a space for the ‘jam.’ I loved that job. Of the two newspapers where I was once upon a time a staff, only one of them made Monday morning meetings to brainstorm together for stories a priority. I absolutely adored that job, and would have stayed until the end of my life, but for the call of the road and the journeys to come.
I have to N + 1 it, or I will stagnate.
But the movement and the learnings and the push and the nudge for N + 1 style of spacemaking and conversation salon-hosting is what I’ll personally bring to our conversations.
I wonder if you want to join me, and the others, here in S P A C E?
Here are a few upcomings.
Or, you can subscribe to the weekly eZine, S P A C E, here.
Look forward to welcoming you there! —AS