Arts & Letters Society Kuala Lumpur

DK and friends together co-host a very special, once-off conversation salon at the National Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. This is a conversation salon about design, as well as a chance to pop in together to see the exhibition ‘Contemporary Design.’ Meet us at the 2F of the National Gallery at PCLO Cafe. (When you go up the escalators, turn to the left. You’ll see PCLO and a sign for ‘Arts & Letters Society’ on the A-board, there.)

‘SHOULD I GO?’ I want to answer the question, ‘Why should I go?’ It’s a good one, and for a long time I’ve just avoided answering it because to me it’s a natural thing to want to go to things where I have no idea what might happen, or whom I’ll meet, as long as it’s not ‘Saturday night-y’ stuff. I don’t much go for the drinking and bar thing, and I don’t care to ‘connect’ through WhatsApp texting strings. I prefer real life, in which someone is designing a kind of conversation space that has a set intention and by design makes it small in scale. And especially at a venue that I’m curious about anyway. So I’m looking for people who are looking for me.

Why take part? Maybe you’re ready to talk with new people about new things, in real life, without having to do the hard work of setting up the social space. Let DK do that work to design and host you in S P A C E, which is where we are talking with people internationally both online and in real life conversation salons and ateliers together, in order to build a frame for dialogue, exchange, new input, and fresh ideas. Mix it up, catch the art show, and take a break from everything that is your ‘usual routine’ to pop into S P A C E for a moment with us. DK will be hosting this pop-up Arts & Letters Society in KL for the second time, after having returned from a summer series of real life pop-up art installations and conversation salons in Finland. Lots to show, share, and dialogue about in real life on 1 Sept. Who should come? Those who are ready for something different, a change of the normal kind of meet up or party, and are wondering what happens when people who don’t know one another come together in a DK-designed ‘moment’ that we call ‘magic.’ The magic moment happens in S P A C E; we can talk about how, and all of that, later, but for now, this page is here to make the invitation. Will we see you? Why not show up, say yes. –AS

Ages 16+. Very limited seats. Max 12. RM 12 per person. Be sure to register to confirm your spot.

Book your spot by registering here.

 

 

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.

S P A C E || Launch party for the new zine, S P A C E || Penang

BE PART OF the of the launch party and low-key conversations about spaces where we can meet new people, and learn new things. DK will share zines we have been making with others since 2014 in cities like Phnom Penh, Bangkok, London, Copenhagen, Malmoe, Singapore, and Battambang. Should be relaxed, small, intimate, and low-key. We’ll bring the PLAY sign (pictured) and a textbook, Inquiry (partly pictured), which some may find curious.

Discover more when you join this unique, once-off real life event and meet new people also interested in developing their writing, when you join.

Learn more about Atelier S P A C E at this page.

S P A C E: The Art of Not Knowing

Converse. Connect. Discover. New people, new thinking, and new perspectives. Sharing in real life with people you have no idea just how much you might have in common with. It’s a new year, coming up, and this is a chance to take stock on where you’ve been so far, and chart a course for where you’re going. How do you do this when you don’t have everything ‘figured out?’ A prompt-led dialogue that will feature breakout sessions, small group work, and introspective reflection, all in one short afternoon, could very well be just the nudge you need to motivate yourself to follow your heart, and dream big. As seen in Hanoi (May-June 2017), ‘The Art of Not Knowing’ is a light and fun conversation salon that will make time and room for you to explore these exciting and deeply personal questions, but not in an intrusive way, and with a lot of lightheartedness along the way. See for yourself. See what making space can reveal to you about… you. Hashtag? #dada #surrealist #exploration #selfconcept

Just 6 spots. RSVP to confirm your attendance. RSVP through this form:

S P A C E || The Creative Process

In a set of conversations these last two weeks in Penang, DK has learned something cool. We found that there are many here who want to talk, in some depth, about the creative process itself. This is exciting.

MAKE

I am reminded of MAKE, a conversation salon we had held in the US, where I had invited eight guest panelists to convene and make a short comment to kick off what then became a meandering, unforgettable session. Some friends still quote from it, when we talk together about our newest or latest, because we are also aware that we are constantly developing a voice, and can’t see it in full until we play a bit, well, let’s be honest, a lot, and see what patterns emerge. What does our output creatively tell us about ourselves? Our conversations will shake out some of that, guaranteed.

Serious makers and creatives truly enjoy occasions to share on this informal, real time, and in real life way with others also struggling with questions of purpose, form, technique and gumption to keep making, when we aren’t sure where we are even going, when we do.

An Asian upbringing, for me, puts me in the same category that many I have met in Malaysia are, too: we ask ourselves (at the start, anyway) questions like: what about practicality, of following the Programme not only society seems to be setting, but your Parents are, too. No one wants to be a disappointment. But can you make really good work if that concern for what others expect or think of you will box you in, will limit you? I struggled with this question myself for a decade, then made a choice that I never looked back on or regretted. I will share that story at this event.

Here’s what will happen. Drawing from a past career in architecture, design, branding, and journalism, DK will bring forward a series of conversation-starting questions that might help some of those who are curious about Creative Process find ways to add troops to their own repertoire of how to make.

RM 50pp.

RSVP for location details, and to confirm your attendance. To RSVP, contact us through the form at this page.

 

The why of S P A C E

WHAT IS S P A C E about? Starting in Battambang in Cambodia in Sept. 2017, we are moving in Asia to discover people who are curious, creative, and ready for something new. Our cocreated Battambang issue was on the topic, Ennui. In Singapore (10-12 Nov) our zine was on the theme The Third Place. In Penang (6-11 Dec) we took a different focus, Growth. The launch party for S P A C E {}| Penang is on Monday, 11 December, at the Bricklin Cafe at Hin Bus Depot. DK are looking forward to sharing the journeys from 2014-2017 around to different cities of the world to discover people and hyperlocal narratives, and pack them into short zines.

How did we find these themes?

Each is based on what conversations emerge when we meet new people in real life in those places, and simply take time to talk. Then we work on a piece that is cohesive, and is hyperlocal to the place and the contemporary narratives. These pop up from real life when we converse offline with new and different others. It brings storyfinding back to person to person contact, while ‘journalism’ becomes increasingly less human-centered. Who will we tell our real selves to? Each other, in real life, offline, away from package-making for others and towards more listening for common threads and similar experiences. In so doing, we feel more connected, DK have found, and inspired to improve, too.

What is Atelier S P A C E trying to do?

Consider possibilities. Try new things. Stay open. In a nutshell, it’s about helping people find ways to get out of their box. Comfort zones can be places where it seems cozy, but actually, lulls us into a creatively deadening complacency.

Our atelier is about designing a custom framework in each place that will set the stage for really interesting thinking and human connexion to actually *happen*, and DK select very carefully the venues, times of day, and themes so that guests of Atelier S P A C E can experience a relaxed, intellectually stimulating, space for dialogue. Dialogue of the kind with a center, and not sides.

It isn’t for everyone, this style of looking for the new and making zines in-situ, on the spot, with those we are inviting to play in S P A C E, but it works for people seeking a personal challenge to try new things and grow. Especially useful for people who have done a lot, careerwise, and seen firsthand that there are massive limits to what anyone can do on her own, yet few ways to invite truly engaging collaboration.

So we created Atelier S P A C E for this set of us. It is best for those who are interested in developing a creative voice, and making what is artful. DK has been practicing this since 2008 in Seattle, Durham NC, and Phnom Penh in workshops for a wide mix of people, and is sharing now through these popup ateliers tools, tips, and anecdotes that equip guests to become more confident creatively. Atelier S P A C E is a self-funded project.

Read about what’s coming up in 2018 at our calendar, here.

S P A C E || Games afternoon

JOIN THIS FREE games afternoon, hosted by DK’s in-house chess enthusiast. Discover new people and the games at Narrow Marrow, in Penang, on Carnavon Street. We’ll be there from 2:30PM to 5PM, no need to register. Free.

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.

S P A C E || Make time for Real Life

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME you made time to show up and talk to someone you didn’t know, in real life, without a meeting appointment or an agenda? If you are interested, like we are, in showing up for something that you don’t know what it is yet, then come along and join us for S P A C E || Make time for Real Life. It will be a light, easygoing conversation limited to a very small circle of people. Please RSVP for the location details through this form. Free for co-hosts of Atelier S P A C E || Penang and their guests, or RM 40 per person. The theme for this is The Third Place, which is about a space between work and home, where people can meet, connect, converse, relax, and discover something. It’s a recurring thing, this one. So join us to find out more.

Notes: As this event is limited to just 6 seats, we are asking for advance bookings. Kindly RSVP before 6 December to register by email. (You can pay the registration fee on the day, in cash.)

We will meet in Georgetown. Find out the exact meetpoint and programme where when you RSVP to confirm your attendance.

Register through this form:

Atelier S P A C E || Penang

Click for ticket registration page.

ARE YOU INTERESTED in publishing? How about real life, and conversations that have a center, go places, and involve a wide mix of perspectives? If yes, this is for you.

Make an 8-page zine with us, and join the global series Atelier S P A C E.

The curious, as well as writers, artists, designers, editors, illustrators, photographers and others who make 2D works are invited to take part in Atelier S P A C E.

DK is temporarily camped out in Penang, and will host this popup atelier at the space pictured, and other venues. The idea is to mix it up: DK want to gather new and different othera whose paths might not have crossed, for uncertainty, for the chance encounter to *happen.*

New thinking, new perspectives. These lead to breakthroughs, innovations, and space for flexing the muscles of human imagination. No ‘movie and chill’ excusemaking here. We will get to work.

It works like this. On the first day, at a kickoff reception, you’ll be part of an informal conversational salon at our popup atelier space (pictured). You will be welcomed and given a comfortable, easy selection of conversation-starting prompts. The idea is to get us all talking together, in new ways, and avoid boring smalltalk. From there, as a group, we will choose a theme for the focus of the zine. Over the next few days, (a full programme to be shared with registered guests), you will work independently as well as with 1-2 others to collaborate. From what emerges, we will together design the final layout for the 8-page zine.

Check out some examples. The zines S P A C E || Battambang and S P A C E || Singapore, currently at Gerak Budaya Bookshop.

Inspired by nonlinear thinkers past and present, this atelier programme invites you to expect the unexpected, from others, and also, from yourself. It’s hosted by DK’s creative director, Dipika Kohli, who makes spaces for people to discover more about one another through loose, prompt-led dialogues that often will lead to remarkable connexion. After founding DK and writing her own narratives in first-person accounts, she got curious about how to make ways for people to discover themes and stories layered within the everyday usual spaces and discover the new. Since 2014 she has been hosting salons and ateliers, like Choices at The 1961 in Siem Reap, Self in Palo Alto, Flow at Foo Cafe in Malmoe, and Beauty in Phnom Penh. Before relocating to Asia, she hosted a salon, Gather, in Seattle, and an atelier, The State of Publishing, in Durham NC. Google ‘There’s Not That Much Time Left’ and TEDx to watch her philosophize about the urgency of now. In keeping with that framing, this atelier is a once-off occasion.

Since mid-September we have been on the road hosting Atelier S P A C E.

This is what it is: An on-the-road journey that discovers people, places, and stories on the fly, packing them into short zines one-to-two months at a time. What we are interested in doing with you is engaging people in real-life conversation, in the form of salons, and also, in publishing some of those snippets (the best of, developed and refined, in further conversations) in a zine.

S P A C E || Chess & coffee

MEET DESIGN KOMPANY for an informal conversation and perhaps, if you are keen, a game of chess. We are into fast chess, the serious kind, so get your game on and come and say hi. I will bring this sign, and this book (pictured). RM 20. Free for guests of Atelier S P A C E || Penang. (Discover more about Atelier S P A C E here).

Let us know you’re coming, just send a note through this form:

Being offline more

WIFI. Is scarce, here, in Penang. So, more offline time.

Eye contact.

As I talk in real life about the why of Atelier S P A C E, it’s doing something, it’s making it clearer.

As in, why.

As in, for whom, and where.

I seek cozy spaces that might not be ‘regular’ for philosophical and nonlinear meanders into the abstract. But… That’s what it is. Think about it. Space is invisible. But space connects us al. That particular S P A C E. Is what we are designing, in Atelier S P A C E. Really.

Don’t believe me?

Check out our gallery, and learn about our process to invite new people to join us in these kinds of things, as we blogged it all for ‘N’ Hanoi.

NEW & DIFFERENT. Wherever you look going to be a wallop of awakening; that’s because you’re in the newness, you’re in a spot that you haven’t been, and though it might be ho-hum routine for those who are living and working there usually, for you it is New. I didn’t tell you about S., did I? This weirdo installation… Involving… Well, wait. it’s too personal to put on this blog.

In the last 20 years of trying to find ways to engage people (so that I can get more engaged with the design work I think is better as a result, to be really honest), I have learned that the high-quality space that I want to create more of in this world resides in the real life bounded box of time, and location, which is set. Which is intentional. And good because we are *there*.

So yeah. If we meet, in one of the cities where I’ll be traveling, in 2018, I can share there.

(More for members of our online community, S P A C E, in exquisite and intricate details. Curious? Subscribe here.)

 

Scouting venues and making friends

PART OF THE PROJECT OF ATELIER S P A C E is, when I forget to be concerned about Programme design and making sure all the pieces are in the right order is letting things just happen.

It has been not quite two weeks since DK shifted from Singapore to scope the scene here in Penang. But already I feel like it’s been, in many ways, like meeting someone you’ve always known in a way but haven’t fully seen.

Like a pen pal. Or a distant cousin.

There are overlays that you can’t deny, a cultural identity that’s shared in a very tangential way, for me, here by the side streets of a warm and seaside town. I love this village feeling, it reminds me of Skibbereen, and very shortly I think I will feel ready to start sharing out loud and not just blogging into the obscure about Atelier S P A C E || Penang. That’s here.

Meantime it is just now posted, details and tickets and everything, to Eventbrite.

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.

S P A C E || Games & Coffee

LET’S CONNECT. In real life. Meet Design Kompany for games over coffee.

Bring your favorite game.

Free with RSVP*. (*Exclusive of food and drinks).

To RSVP, send us an email through this form, and we’ll confirm your registration. If at least 4 say ‘yes’, we’ll make it *happen*: