‘Aesthetics,’ a conversation salon

A conversation in the virtual space for just a few of us to talk about… beauty.

I can’t say too much here, as much as I love this topic and would expound for a lot of pages if left to.

I think twenty years ago I would have. Happily. But now, I will not.

S P A C E | ‘Pathways’ is in our shop.

Because the objective for hosting a conversation is to invite new thinking, new perspectives, and new people: to learn. (That’s the goal for me in making S P A C E the zine, too.) How could that happen if I started putting my opinion together all over the place? Yet, that is exactly what I used to do when I was blogging here every day when I set up this site in 2006. It was a start point for all to come next and then I crisscrossed over my writings and my ideas, letting them change, adjusting, accepting, along the way. An issue of S P A C E called ‘Pathways,’ illuminates this, if you’re curious.


Away from dogmatic Western writings, towards open-ended query

I have steered away from Western dogmatic writing, which I feel has gone out of fashion. Also, it really limits what you can find out if you approach things with an open mind.

S P A C E the zine.

We don’t know what we’ll find out. It’s like opening up a box of something that has no clue or hint, on the outside, what you might find, within. The awe and wonder of that experience is, I feel, what makes us human and not machines. We are always curious. If we let ourselves be, that is. To overwrite my point of view on my blog or even at my vanity url site would be to undermine the value of an open space forum.

For conversations to evolve, emerge, and wander. That is the objective: to play, to learn, to discover and co-discover.

Letting the conversations emerge

Part of how I choose to shape my facilitations and workshops for people online is available to read if you go to the Open Space Technology info page on Wikipedia, though, honestly, I’ve adapted it quite a bit.

I prefer very small conversations groups, like no more than four, ideally. For work, it’s okay if it jumps to ten or fifteen, but ideally I like to keep it cozy so I use breakout groups a lot for my real life programs like Time for Us, Mirror, and SELF. Online these days it’s the salons that I share about here and on the LinkedIn page for Design Kompany.

The adjustments to the way I host salons come from more than just the OST methodology. Mostly from personal experience with a range of people in a variety of contexts (international, age group, background, walks of life) but also, with a massive punch of inspiration from many, many jazz jam sessions around the world over these 20 years.

We go where the going takes us, in our conversations at DK and Atelier S P A C E. I love that. Read some reviews at my personal site, at http://dipikakohli.com/rv.

Modern Sikkim // DK x Echostream 2013

Improvising as we go, but towards the participatory collaboration that is the aesthetic of dialogue. That which has a center, and not sides, as Bill Isaacs puts it in Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together. I recall emailing him about this and how to do that in a foreign context, when I was on the road in India, making conversations on the spot. At that time I was in Gangtok with my team. As a result of conversations with a few and then with more than a few, I found people to collaborate with and to co-host. The output was Modern Sikkim: What does it mean to be Sikkimese? It was a series of conversations DK co-hosted with people who said, ‘Hell yeah, that’s a great idea, let’s talk.’ Being a third party, independent, politically apolitical, unknown in those parts, we were just a curiosity to engage with. That worked. That went well. Here is my writeup.

But all that to the side, let me focus on the here and now, with what I have. The tools, the network, and the knowhow to host a great conversation.

Let’s talk about aesthetics.

A conversation about art, beauty, ephemera

Aesthetics of space, of art, of connexion, of conversation itself could be part of this dialogue. At least, they have been, in conversations past, in these wanders into querying roads that DK sets up because it’s fun.

Aesthetics is a conversation salon in which we will meet on a voice call to discover, and discuss, whatever comes up as we get to talking. The space is the stage set by DK’s Dipika Kohli, who will host you on this miniature adventure. Brief, but packed, the 40-minute session is open for invitation to the first 4 guests who sign up.

Ticket information is at this link.