Virtual reception :: The Art of Not Knowing

A NEW COLLECTION. After the conversations that came of a 2012 lecture, ‘There’s Not That Much Time Left,’ Design Kompany created online ‘rooms’ for talking together with people we didn’t know about how to leave a legacy you can feel great about. By designing the life you want. Working backwards from the picture of ‘the ending’ and figuring out how to attain that kind of a goal is, of course, the stuff of applied design.

We made a few things together with this group in real life, in virtual spaces, and in invite-only salons that helped us all talk more about ‘uncertainty.’ About not knowing what’s ahead, and working with that, anyway. Maybe you will be aware of the launch of DK’s set of writings and recordings, The Art of Not Knowing, (which I’ll refer to as AONK), because of those inner circle conversations. If that’s you, this will be an event to further connect in an online reception for the launch of the collection. Learn more about AONK here.

Be part of the online conversation on 1 July when join us for S P A C E with a pass. Details to follow for those who confirm. Advance bookings only. Book here.

The Art of Not Knowing

Art of Not Knowing by Dipika Kohli
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A NEW ESSAY COLLECTION, by DK’s Dipika Kohli. It’s about many, many things but most of it is about uncertainty. How we can’t possibly know a thing before we start, and how we simply must investigate our way towards what feels right, and how that even works.

First release will be 1 June for members S P A C E. Then, pre-orders will be released 1 July.

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Let’s meet in real life in Phnom Penh

See what’s on now.

THE FIRST TIME I CAME TO PHNOM PENH, there was a feeling that anything could happen. This was in March, 2014. This was a time in my life that I needed to be in a place where you could try things, make it up, see what happened. Because so much of what I had imagined was going to work simply hadn’t been doing that. I was on the verge of quitting it all. Giving up on the ‘Anything is Possible’ dream that we started Design Kompany with as a limited liability company in Seattle in 2005.

This was the hope, back then: You could do anything you wanted, if you just had a clear picture of what it was. Somehow, the universe would deliver. Regardless of background or income or societal class, the clarity of intent was the key. 

A few days after moving into a flat on Street 63, something that I never imagined I would do, I organized a conversation salon called ORIGIN.

What is fromness? Having turned this question about in my heart for the one year on the road in India, Nepal, Viet Nam, Thailand, and Laos, I very much wanted to know.

Having a burning question in your heart is one of the best ways to host a salon.

So I did.

ORIGIN was hosted in an ‘unconference’ format, which I think is a new idea here in Phnom Penh and I’d only first ever heard of it a few years prior at a barcamp in Seattle. You propose a theme, a topic that is, that could be openly interpreted. Here’s how it works. You share about it as a date-time-place and just see who comes. When guests arrive, you host the space in such a way as to invite those who are there to share what they hope to hear, and in this way, a natural and organically formed agenda is devised. On the spot. It’s very nice. We talk together in small circles, only with those who are also interested in exploring the topics that we are. In this way, we make good on our time. We establish real connections. People at ORIGIN, pictured below, seemed to really engage with this style of gathering with new and different others.

Here’s a pic:

ONE OF THE GREATEST things I have learned about living in Cambodia is just how open to trying new things that the Cambodian people are. How could I possibly have gotten to know people here, who are from here, when I’d only just arrived myself? Yet there were a lot of people who were local to Phnom Penh who got word of this and came. I really admired and appreciated that.

A lot of times you just throw an idea ‘out there’ and see if it ‘has legs,’ which is just designspeak for, ‘Does anyone really want this?’

In my three years since ORIGIN, I have tried out a lot of other kinds of topics, to mixed reviews and response. I have also gone to other countries and gathered people in different cities, just to see if maybe it was about the place. It’s not. It’s about the people. Whoever comes is the right people, it says in the Open Space manual. Whatever happens is exactly the only thing that could have.

What does this mean?

I will be hosting ORIGIN again.

It will be DK’s last conversation salon in Phnom Penh.

The date is set for 21 April.

The location will be on Street 334 in BKK1.

There are tickets on sale at this website.

You can also send me a note through the form at the end of this page and ask me how to join with Wing or cash. I’m so excited about ORIGIN 2017, but I’m also more experienced now in salonmaking. The people who come are the right people when you have the clarity of intent communicated very articulately. Are you interested in the topic of ‘fromness?’ Then ORIGIN is for you. What it is not is a place to go if you are otherwise bored, or if no other options come up for you on the day. That is why there are tickets, and they are only available for advance bookings. I’m looking forward to it.

Will we see you there?

A letter to guests of 3N

ALMOST THERE, now.

Once the date is set this sort of moves pretty quickly: finalising the guestlist, sharing the agenda, confirming that you can be there, making sure you know where we’re meeting. That kind of thing. Just like any great party, you have to do all the detail stuff way ahead of time, right? But also, like any great party, it’s about who comes more than anything else, at all.

So I’m very excited to meet some of you for the first time and reconnect with those I haven’t seen for quite a while. More than anything, I’m looking forward to the dialogue to come amongst you all as we gather for the first time and last time, most likely, in this ‘onceness’ experience of ’16N.’

Next I’ll share the details of the venue. An agenda. And the exact meetpoint.

NOTEWORTHINESS being our theme, I’ve been brainstorming quite a lot about this, also talking to people here about how to best host a conversation salon on this theme. Pretty excited about some of the playful conversation-starters that have come towards me from this wonderful group of people who are also making spaces to engage with new and different others. We all have our methods and styles and ways, but I think gatherings are just so great. So I’m looking forward to it.

More soon on email…