Atelier S P A C E || Bangkok

Atelier S P A C E is DK’s popup, zinemaking on-the-spot workshop. The idea is to gather a handful of people to meet and cocreate a short publication. A zine.

So far, DK has hosted Atelier S P A C E in: Battambang, Singapore, Penang, KL, and a few smaller cities in Malaysia.  Zines from Atelier S P A C E have appeared at writers festivals in Singapore and Georgetown Penang, so far, and more appearances are set for a Finland tour in the summer.

Be a part of the international conversation.

  • For the full five-day programme in Bangkok, it is THB 8000.
  • Register by 5 March to confirm your spot. Get tickets here. ✨

S P A C E || The best is yet to come

GETTING SET here in Bangkok for our 6-10 March zine design atelier. Atelier S P A C E || Bangkok.

I’ll welcome just a very small handful of people to cocreate an eighth-page zine.

Read more under Upcomings and find out how to get involved in the international conversation that interweaves people and place, in S P A C E.

(What? Yeah…)

Readings from S P A C E

A POPUP CONVERSATION salon, with snippets from our 2014-2017 highlights from the ezine, S P A C E. We will be hosting this in real life at a venue in Penang to be shared with registered guests only. Free with RSVP. To RSVP, contact DK through the form here.

8 January | Discover The Mirror

OUR NEXT ONLINE programme, The Mirror, begins on 8 January. Details are here.

What’s next for you?

If taking time to consider that very question thoughtfully sounds interesting to you (yes, we know it’s hard, of course it is, but is it interesting?…) then I invite you to apply for The Mirror. It is my favorite of our online workshops. I guess I like it because I’ve see transformations. So far, more than 50 people have taken part in our online programmes since we first opened spaces three years ago, all these would be online, for the kind of salon-style dialogue that: progresses; is carefully moderated; and is kept to a very self-selecting, small set of people. Real breakthroughs happen. I see it every year. You don’t have to be a pro at writing. Mistakes, drafts are welcome. It’s a journal, not a report. 😉 Since early 2014, DK has hosted The Mirror, this interactive and small-scale  experiment in journaling with others online. The framing question for its design was:

What if we could discover something together with those we didn’t know, but who were also exploring the same themes?

Great conversations emerged, resulting in a short eBook anthology, The Mirror. In recent days new conversations have inspired a fresh sequence of prompts, those that will, we hope, encourage people to break free of rigid thinking that ultimately confines us. For this I have CC to thank, in large part. (Glad I got to tell you.) If you are returning, there is more to share, on email, about the new things and a special group for alums.

The Mirror 2018 will circle in the new guests we are meeting in real life at our Atelier S P A C E programmes with our existing online community.

It’s fun, light.

And conversational.

Curious? Apply by 2 January. Apply here >

A green space in George Town Penang

ATELIER S P A C E is just underway here in George Town Penang.

In a planning session, ‘Creative Process’ came up. Questions about the approach towards creating new things. Most important, one guest said, is that there is a chance to reflect on one’s own self and self-learning–that this is more important, perhaps, than sharing. There were some counterpoints, too. If it’s not something a person can grasp, then why should there be interest, for ex. A thought: how much of the creative process is important to make space for public sharing, and how much is for personal discovery? Where can we explore how to make a thing both intriguing (to us) and relatable (to others)? Or is that even important? (If it’s Art, maybe not. If it’s Design, maybe so. Or?)

Our theme for S P A C E || Penang is Growth.

Check out all that’s ahead in Penang at this page.

Next stop, KL.

Making S P A C E || Penang

THINGS ARE GETTING going here in Penang for Atelier S P A C E || Penang. Like in Singapore and in Battambang before that, the idea is to get people talking together and learn new things. Maybe about each other, their own selves, or, as in the case here yesterday throughout the day, philosophy. Making S P A C E for remarkable connexion, we are just settling in to begin the discovery, meantime some zines are at this weekend’s Georgetown Literary Festival. Special thanks to the festival for including S P A C E. See you there.

‘What is a zine, though?’

EARLIER THIS WEEK, in the regular Tuesday posting of our subscription eZine S P A C E, I wrote all about my feelings connected to this picture. So very many angles here, in one frame. It is a highly personal story, not for public consumption here, but it is hitting the notes that play a chord that chimes in resonance with dozens of real life conversations with local people here, all week, on the feeling of creating within a very tightly bounded box.

Many emotional clips were shared with me in confidence, as I and our team at DK had reached out to more than 65 people, groups, businesses, and nongovernmental organizations to find out what to make in SG. (We tried to talk to government groups, but found out that one can’t call a mobile number in Cambodia, do skype, or reply to us with any less than 20 emails, going in a useless loop. Hmm.) That’s okay. We are pressing on.

Atelier S P A C E || Singapore is starting tomorrow.

Once, just this weekend, and that’s it. Recurring theme, brevity. And onceness. Celebrating the moment, the urgency of now.

Being here now

I STAYED UP far too late last night reading a short story about loneliness. Some part of me was totally depressed reading how the main character was so lonely he paid someone to watch him on the video stream on his laptop. But then, going around this gleaming city each day, watching people with their own portable screens and streaming on the go, I got less sad. This is the reality we are in. We can’t talk to each other, face to face; that’s too weird. It has to be vetted, now, first. There has to be a real reason to know you have something to say to me, personally and I can’t do that if you are approaching me, in 3D, out of nowhere, and now ‘nowhere’ is the real world. Then, it happened. I met someone. Late, late, late. In the lobby of the hotel. Shared space. Common rooms. Where I found the book. The *oddest* things took place, things I can’t talk about on this blog because this blog is public space in the modern, new, updated, revised way, it’s public like ‘I can see what you write and think and feel,’ and not public like ‘I’m in this room with you, right now.’ A younger version of myself would have wanted to construct a blog post today that would outline for you the weirdness, in discrete segments of particularities, (because we all know it’s the details that make a story good), of what happened next, after our awkward greeting. (But I am saving that for next Tuesday’s S P A C E. Subscribe? http://gum.co/space). The shape of space of the evening was total alienation; bizarre and disjointed. It was, however, a theatrical rendition of the modern mindscape. We are bedazzled by spectacles, but we can’t see the presence of the thing that is the true miracle, which is this moment of a shared here and now.

ART. What is there to do but to continue to make S P A C E, for real life, the framing of the magic of chance connections, and the ongoing awakening that can happen, if we let it, when people who notice the detail of now and the slowing of a full moment in which no other pictures or sounds or other people’s annotated commentaries on That Which They Deem Interesting can eclipse this here… Who cares about what a friend, colleague, boss, or lover thinks or shares at a distance, far from me? I care about here. Now. If you walk into this stage, for even a second, there it will begin, the play.

Cojournal17

WHAT IF WRITING could be a *shared experience?*

DK x Kismuth invite you to join us for the Cojournal Project. In which you will meet a very small circle of others (just 4) interested in making time and space each week to write. It’s not that you have to quit everything you are doing, but why not just commit to making *writing* a *thing*. Be accountable to yourself and the others, make it *happen*. It takes 20 minutes a week, and we do this for 12 weeks. You’ll get a new prompt on Monday, and you’ll have a week to write into a forum in a protected-page at Design Kompany’s site. So far we’ve enjoyed conversations with people on topics like, ‘Home & Away,’ ‘A Nomadic Existence,’ ‘The Village.’ Next are: ‘Strange Geometries’ and ‘The Book of Time.’ If the idea of connecting with Design Kompany’s Dipika Kohli and a handful of others to write and have someone write back with their own responses to the same prompts sounds interesting, this could be the thing for you.

Dipika asks, ‘What if writing could be a shared experience? What might we make, together?’ Kismuth Books published a short anthology, The Mirror, which was a collection of essays from Cojournal Project 2014. ‘It’s offered sporadically, when the mood strikes to write with others,’ she says.

JOIN. The Cojournal Project takes place in protected-page forum blog posts, online. It is 12 weeks. Starts 10 November, with a kickoff in real life at a *secret location* in  Singapore. Details will be shared *only* with those who register.

Questions? Contact us.

Launch of a new chapbook, Phnom Penh || S P A C E

MEET DESIGN KOMPANY this week to get a copy of our new chapbook, Phnom Penh ||  S P A C E. It contains some of the highlights from our 2014-2017 series of images. It gathers select short, quiet moments in a new collection, which has not been shared elsewhere outside of our online community, S P A C E. Many of these will be unexpected images: this isn’t what the ordinary passerby will make a note of, we are certain of that. Only by staying still in one place for a time can you really start to finally see it. Which means, of course, recognizing that you can never see a thing fully, no matter how long you look or how much you investigate, unless you see it clearly, with your heart.

‘How arrogant it would be for me to write about Cambodia,’ I said to VS yesterday, an earnest young man who, after working in international development, is freelancing as a translator of English to Khmer, his native language. He tells me I should write a story about __. I say, ‘No. __ is not mine. __ is yours. These are not my stories to write: these are yours. What I can do is show you the viewpoint I have, as a person who sees space in a very particular way. This story, this visual communication, without too many words that can clutter meaning, this is what the Phnom Penh || S P A C E chapbook is about.’ Curious? Get it when you join S P A C E this month.

Phnom Penh || S P A C E

 

The Village II

THE VILLAGE is an online conversation salon. It’s by invitation. It’s for people whose paths we are crossing, and with whom we’d like to develop a continued correspondence. This time, themed around the idea of The Village. Together we will ask, in this 12-week sequence, ‘To which tribe do I belong?’

Mixing our experiences and backgrounds is the goal. Co-discovery and co-learning, through writing together in protected-page posts at this blog. You’ll meet people from other timezones, writing asynchronously in response to the weekly prompts. Prompts are sent Mondays at 7AM USEST. There is no need to be anywhere at any particular time, it’s all done by email. No video, no tests, no homework. Just… weekly prompts. Each one is designed to take less than 20 minutes.

Changing it up

IN RECENT MONTHS, parts of DK have been regrouping on the road, while some of us are in Phnom Penh. We are trying to sketch out the ‘why’ of DK. The purpose, the whole thing. I know we’ve been ‘at it’ since 1994, in various ways and shapes, but now, it’s for real. Why? One reason.

The world needs artists.

Okay, maybe not ‘the world.’ Maybe… humanity. We need artists. Artists see. They see, and they interpret. They share the form of the essence of something, and when it’s good, it’s because that form is something that we can all resonate with; there is resonance because there is some kind of universal… hm. Not ‘truth,’ but… something. Something that we go, ‘Yeah,’ when we see it, and when we see it, we see it with more than just our eyes, we feel it.

Here’s an example. Music. Music does this brilliantly. In Wholeness and the Implicate Order, David Bohm (a physicist I learned about because of his dialogues with J. Krishnamurthi, just google it) talked about music and the universal. I had shared about these conversations in the 2016 series of our online webzine, S P A C E. Proceeds from subscriptions of S P A C E, and our other programmes, make it possible to maintain this blog. (And keep designing, on the road, one step and one designful conversation at a time. Next in the 2017-2018 sequence here in S P A C E, this is the plan: Discovering and including and shining a light on voices that for some reason the mainstream media just ignores. Fortunately, we have a rolodex this time, and a good batch of past programmes that we’ve prototyped, too.)

It’s been wonderful being in Asia for these four years and learning just how very vacant Big Media is, truly, in its overlooking and excluding of so many fantastic voices. I think that is a vision that is coming forth now more strongly in our new programmes and the designs ahead; we want to be more clear about this, more intentional: we want to discover new people and new stories, not just pander to what’s already popular. Because what’s popular isn’t really what’s… well. It’s personal taste, right? But… to me, it’s not interesting. What’s interesting is what we can learn from one another, in real life, when we meet and connect. Which takes showing up, but also curiosity. I believe we still have this… curiosity. About one another.

Assembly

Synthesis is a kind of art: and this comes from engaging, connecting, and learning from various input sources. That’s the kind of resource-collecting we just have to have more of, now. It takes… work. Going out of the boxes, making it uncomfortable for ourselves because we have to go where we don’t know where we are. Otherwise, stagnation. Boredom. Ennui. Bad art.

We need thinking. We need it to happen when people connect with those whose paths wouldn’t have crossed. So that we can… do things better. More… collaboratively. For dialogue, for sharing. For collaboration. So we have to do something. We have to change it up. This is how.

Continue reading “Changing it up”

A nomadic existence

Design Kompany is hosting an online forum in which people who don’t know one another—from around the world—are connecting and conversing, every week.

LIFE ON THE ROAD.

Digital nomad, or modern gypsy? If you found yourself, as we did, somehow on the road indefinitely and working off the internet in that magical and curious way that it has to link us with people whose paths we might not have otherwise crossed, then this is the one for you. Conversations are already underway in these protected pages on related topics, since 2014. (Ref: The Cojournal Project, The Mirror, The Forum, A New Kind of Journey, The Village).

Be a part of it.

Here’s how to apply.

Apply

Use this form: