A Philosophy of the Moment · Ideas of Curiosity

S P A C E | Through curious eyes

Loreal Prystaj:

As an artist, it is important to create work that genuinely comes from within. This is the only way that a new and unique point of view is found. It is an easy trap for an artist to generate work she perceives her audience will like. True, the viewer ultimately determines the greatness of an art piece—great art impacts a vast spectrum of people. But a volatile audience cannot be predicted, hence great art is rarely a calculated guess, it is often an accident. The only way an artist can introduce new perspectives is continuing to be curious, ask questions, and explore. Seeing the world through curious eyes leads to new discoveries

Experiments in Expression · Found in the Field · Gallery


Zines & Cuizines aka ‘New Cuizines’

a project of

Atelier S P A C E // Ho Chi Minh City

The food scene in Vietnam is its very own unique thing and well worth spending time with, while DK is here. (And… while I am here, I should also learn how to cook, something that I just skipped over most of my life.)… [deleted]… it’s also quite beautiful to discover new things. Which all began, in September 2020, with this:

Van Tran prepared this food and took this photo. It’s the cover image of S P A C E | ‘Home’. Find this issue in our shop >

So yeah. Since getting the chance to see how quickly one can prepare a gorgeous meal, and being the kind of person who loves collages, and so, yeah, why not just try it. Collaging with… ingredients. So, since lockdown started in June of this year, I got more serious about it. And I decided to try my hand at this new adventure, in.. what is this thing!? Cooking.

Getting better. I think. All this is possible in New Cuizines thanks to some new crowdfunding support. Yes. That’s right. Thank you. So I have been reading more and more about… food. Background, you know. Research. For fun, I found some pictures of the things that I see every day and wanted to put them together in a mini-collage below. I found them online, and the artists’ names are below each image, shared with permission. I got them from a website that lets you share images for free, because it was way too hard to ask people who take pictures here to work with me on anything; it’s just too much effort to get in touch and ask people to meet you and talk about things, share, that sort of craic… [deleted]… With whomever shows up. So, I came online again and searched and sorted. Curating things, now, more and more. Lately I found:

Hoang Thanh

Lynda Hinton

Anh Nguyen

Special thanks to

Atelier S P A C E // Ho Chi Minh City teammates

Anonymous & Van Tran


A Philosophy of the Moment · Found in the Field

Về quả | ‘Six major fruits, four potential fruits, and six minor fruits’

The S P A C E editorial review team for our culinary segment, #newcuizines, a crowdfunded effort, says it’s important to start from the basics. It’s like this, they say. ‘When in Japan you have to learn to knit, you don’t start by just knitting any old thing.’ Oh? ‘Well yeah. You begin by washing yarn. Get that right, first. Yarn. And how to wash it. This takes time.’ We are nascent here with #newcuizines and um, instead of washing yarn, we will read technical blog posts. Let me explain.

This curated new team of discerning foodies, foodies, they say, ‘with taste,’ lol, deems it appropriate to share a technical blog post today. About fruits. Fruits, specifically, of Vietnam. Why? This publication’s editors could reach only one person today for comment, since everyone is quite busy in our social distancing life currently. That person, occasional contributing writer QN, replied to us over Zalo with a zinger: ‘Fruit! Yes, great idea. OMG they are so awesome!’ ‘Kay cool. We’ll give ourselves some time to get going with more original stories, but for now, this. At this moment in time, our story today is a snippet, excerpted from the excellent writings at: http://www.fao.org/3/ad523e/ad523e02.htm


1. Introduction


Fruit production in Vietnam has developed very significantly in recent years. This sector has experienced rapid growth because income per hectare from growing fruits is four to eight times greater than from growing rice. In the rapidly expanding markets of Vietnam, it has been easy to sell fruits so producers have concentrated on quantity rather than quality. However, this system of production is likely to change, because traditional growing techniques are often irregular and inadequate, disease-control measures are poor and markets are changing, with better quality fruit being sought by consumers.

The lack of basic information of the fruits grown in Vietnam is a bottleneck for further development. Although there are numerous kinds of fruits in Vietnam, it is not possible for the author to cover them all in this small publication.

The present document only attempts to compile existing information on six major fruits, four potential fruits, and six minor fruits.

Pertinent information on each fruit includes scientific and vernacular names (in English, French, and five Southeast Asian nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), general description, origin and distribution, ecology, genetics and improvement, major cultivars in Vietnam, propagation, planting, pests and diseases, fruiting season, harvest and yield, post-harvests operation, problems, and prospects.

1.1 Major Fruits

These are fruits that are most commonly found in Vietnam. They are listed in Table 1. However, the present document covers only six major fruits having the highest priority in development, namely longan, lychee, mandarin, mango, orange and pummelo. See: http://www.fao.org/3/ad523e/ad523e02.htm


Photo: Neha Deshmukhalamodetheblog.com


1.3 Areas of Production

Areas of fruit trees in Vietnam have been increasing with the changing of cropping system. In addition, with the policy of the Government to cover some areas in the mountainous regions with fruit trees, more areas have been planted to fruit crops.

In 2003, the total areas of fruit trees in Vietnam was 643 550 ha, with total production of 5 695 000 tons (or the increase of 13.8% and 15%, respectively, as compared to 2000). The major fruit commodities are banana, lychee and longan, citrus, pineapple and mango, whose area and production are given below.

Banana: Area: 105 000 ha; total production: 1 365 000 tons; important provinces and area (ha): Ca Mau (7 000), Thanh Hoa (8,000), Song Nai (6 000), Soc Trang (6,500), Tra Vinh (3 400), Can Tho (3 000 ha), An Giang (3 000 ha).

Lychee and Longan: Area: 190 000 ha; total production: 694 000 tons; important provinces and area (ha): Bac Giang (25 500), Ben Tre (16 200), Tien Giang (13 528), Vinh long (9 500), Son La (9 600), Hai Dong (9 400), Quang Ninh (7 000), Hoa Binh (4 500).

Citrus: Area: 73 000 ha; total production 440 000 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Can Tho (13 181), Ben Tre (6 000), Vinh Long (6 500), Ha giang (4 200), Nghe An (4 700), Dong Thap (3 200).

Pineapple: Area: 40 000 ha (in which 8 000 ha are grown to Cayenne varitey), total production: 337 500 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Kien Giang (7 710), Tien Giang (6 830), Quang nam (2 320), Thanh Ho (1 600) Vµ Ninh Binh (1 572).

Mango: Area: 46 500 ha, total production: 209 400 tons; important provinces and area (in ha): Tien Giang (6 000), Binh Phuoc (4 205), Song Thap (3 700), Can Tho (3 500), Khanh Hoa (4 000).

In addition, there are relatively large areas in some provinces planted to some specific fruits, namely: plum (Bac Ha – Lao Cai), sweetsop (Lang Son), dragon fruit (Binh Thuan) and grape (Ninh Thuan).



'S' is for Sincerity · Experiments in Expression · Ideas of Curiosity

I <3 New Cuizines

Today we share an update about #NewCuizines..

I told you about it? About #newcuizines? I’ll be curating here and there some of my favorite food-related [various media pieces] and original stories from the kitchen-atelier of our studio itself. Atelier S P A C E, because. Cooking. Is happening. It has to. There are no take-aways allowed and so, um, you have to prepare things.

I’m glad I have a kitchen, to do that. I’ve made some [deleted]… but these look pretty good…

Yes, you know I am not a foodie. But I do like good food. I mean, eating it. How could I not after three years in the gastronomic paradise of West Cork, Ireland (thank you lads). Well. After all that, I am in Vietnam, one of the most brilliant places to be for food especially if you want to see how creative everything can get with texture, color, composition. Style. I’m enjoying it. Continue reading “I <3 New Cuizines”

Experiments in Expression · Gallery

S P A C E | ‘The Way I Go’

A curated collection of
new poetry & photography
made between the months of
June 2020-June 2021

Atelier S P A C E HCMC Autumn 2020
Art Director

Văn Trần



‘The Way I Go’

an online exhibition

opening reception
by invitation

Monday 5 July 2021


to request an invitation
join mailing list

thank you

Images: by Văn Trần, September & October 2020, Saigon

A Philosophy of the Moment


“Solitude helps you to convert your time into clarity of purpose.” – Sunday Adelaja


June 30, wow. Already this year is halfway over. Meantime I’ve been writing. Quietly, mostly alone, mostly apart from everything familiar…

Definitely a different kind of journey, this one. I’ve never lived anywhere this long in a block of time (a year and a half now), and it’s been… nothing short of revelatory. I mean in all the right ways, too.

So yeah.

Me being me, I’m writing the lessons into a… book, Solitude

It’s almost done.

It started with a zine.

This one. https://gumroad.com/designkompany?sort=newest#oNqtw

Expanding, continuing to explore. That’s the path. The way. For me, anyway. And such elaborations are how I do this. How, that is, I make more sequences of themed issues of the S P A C E zines, writing them into short books, occasionally, too.

But back to solitude…


S P A C E | ‘The Journey’ Cover: Van Tran, June 2021

“We need solitude, because when we’re alone, we’re free from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts.” –Tamim Ansary


…. something that I see now, though, is this. All this solitude, while lovely and difficult in its concoction of unique admixtures, is also coming to a close. I’m delighted to see reports that Vietnam is aiming to open its borders to vaccinated travelers soon. Wow. What does this mean? Well, a lot. Mayyybbeeee I will see some familiar faces again and speak in the languages I speak. Joking and generalities: I’ve missed them.

“Society is the cave. The way out is solitude.” –Simone Weil

So now? What to do? Hang out. Write. Finish the things. And, of course, cojournal. Naturally. I am inviting 4 to join me for a half-month Cojournal for July. Curious?

Here’s a link.




Quotes about solitude appearing above are taken from a listicle by ‘Kites & Roses.’ (Which prefaces the quotes by saying, ‘Often we live amid so much chaos that we forget to spend time alone. But spending time alone has its own benefits. It not only inspires us to know ourselves but also not to depend on others for our happiness.’) More: https://kitesandroses.com/solitude-quotes/

And you? Where are you, quietly? Comments are open, for a bit.

A Philosophy of the Moment

‘Facts’, et al

I found this quote in our 2017 short anthology, S P A C E | ‘Circumference.’ 

The student then asked, “What should I do next?”‘

‘Oh, look at the fish,’ professor and zoologist Jean-Louis Agassiz said, and left the room.’

Later the prof would say, ‘That is right. A pencil is one of the best of eyes… Facts are stupid things.’

This week in Atelier S P A C E we’re in ‘social distancing’ week three in Ho Chi Minh City. So I have even more time than I did when I was merely doing the existing-today stuff of, um, waiting. Waiting for the pandemic to end. Cause now I can’t really hang out and peoplewatch, even. So I’m home. Naturally.  Okay, no problem. I’ll search the archives, then.

Right. Back I go, to Dropbox.


Experiments in Expression · Ideas of Curiosity · Miscellany · Relational Aesthetics

New Cuizines

Check out ‘Zines & Cuisines’ at this link.

There are 40 views already on this page about our next project, Zines & Cuisines.

Van Tran cooked this food. And also, made these A6 one-of-a-kind notebooks, these are the last two in the limited edition of four. ‘‘Food tastes better when you make it from your heart,’ he says. ‘When we eat, we feel love.’ Book for Zines & Cuisines to try his cooking. Details at this link.

Make that 41. I just checked it again.

Forty-one is more views on that page than for any other portfolio page I’ve ever posted on that platform. And I mean I’ve been kind of ambiently on there since 2017, not really seriously, though, not like now. I guess I just want to show people the context of S P A C E instead of just pointing them to my store. Ha, oh, I just pointed you to my store. Well, it’s a nice little collection, I feel:)…

But back to our story. About connexion, conversation, spacemaking, and now, food.

It’s exciting to me that it’s kind of interactive, too. It’s not just a ‘look at what I did’ thing but a co-created, on the spot, in real time, synched conversation space, too. With those who browse and read all the way through to the ends of paragraphs with links, then click the links, something happens. A conversation. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the entire raison d’être of S P A C E. To connect. To converse. To make that exchange… It’s starting to happen more and more, digitally, now, because… well, you know why. But yeah. Let me reflect now for a moment. On perhaps why the other projects for Atelier S P A C E were less interesting to view.

Maybe the earlier stuff I had posted, for example, stuff like this..

Browse all our seasonal collections from Sept.2020-June 2021 at our real life ‘Zines & Cuisines’ event.

… was too…. er. Abstract? Hm.

[moment of insight slooowwwwlly dawns on DK, as the penny drops]

Wow. Quite possibly, eh.

I can see it now.

I guess I was caught up in the thing itself and forgetting to communicate about it, clearly, but that is natural when a thing is starting and it doesn’t know what it is yet. It rolls along and gathers momentum, rounds up, becomes more wheel-y and not as clunky as a square wheel. Ooh. More abstractness. Sorry, lads.

Let me try to articulate it simply. I guess, I just wanted to do it. Atelier S P A C E popups around the world, to co-create. I did this for a few years. You know, I really did. For 2017-2020 I was very interested in gathering people in remarkable moments for connexion. But I don’t think I knew exactly how to communicate what that looked like, in actual fact. Somehow people meeting and talking together over a meal is easier to digest. Haha, see what I did there, digest.

So let me change gears.

Instead of zines. Something else. Something new.

New cuizines..


‘Và có lẽ ta nên dành ít thời giờ ở trường đại học làm đầy đầu óc của học sinh với các nội dung qua các bài giảng, và nhiều thời gian hơn thắp lên sự sáng tạo của họ, sư tưởng tượng và khả năng giải quyết vấn đề của họ bằng cách thật sự nói chuyện với họ.’


‘And maybe we should spend less time at universities filling our students’ minds with content by lecturing at them, and more time igniting their creativity, their imagination and their problem-solving skills by actually talking with them.’

Let’s make S P A C E for just such conversations. Check out ‘Zines & Cuisines,’ a project of Atelier S P A C E, in Vietnam. Here’s a link. https://www.behance.net/gallery/120909493/Zines-Cuisines.

A Philosophy of the Moment · Ideas of Curiosity

Jigsaw Spaces

“The jigsaw classroom was first used in 1971 in Austin, Texas,” says psychologist and University of California in Santa Cruz Professor Elliot Aronson. He is the author of Nobody Left to Hate: Teaching Compassion After Columbine.

Here’s why DK got curious about him, and the jigsaw method. As Jiddu Krishnamurthi said, insight comes from seeing without prejudice. Freedom is seeing this kind of insight. And this method is a way to get there. He also said not to quote him, so I’m using indirect quotes, hey. Cool.

Aronson“My graduate students and I had invented the jigsaw strategy that year [1971], as a matter of absolute necessity to help defuse an explosive situation.” Why should we pay attention to his research and ideas?

Two reasons.

First, I personally experienced the jigsaw method of learning when I was 10. Thank you Mrs. C. And my teammates, whom I wrote letters to after moving from the north to the south of those United States. We had really bonded, after all. Kids. Kids who work together. In nurturing spaces. It was the best part of my education, up until I got to calculus class and the stars fell out of the sky. Okay. I love math. More about that in a bit


I loved the jigsaw method (which I didn’t even know that’s what we were doing) so much it is half of the base for everything I make with my group projects, salons and workshops. The other half are ideas that I learned from Bar Camp in Seattle about letting people choose to go where they are interested; an idea that was outlined in a textbook MC had left at Kinyei, in Battambang, and I happened to go there, and happened to find it. What are the rules of Open Space? The people who come are the right people, the things that happen are the only things that could’ve, it starts when it starts, it’s over when it’s over and you can leave anytime if you aren’t learning anything. Now you know why I left the US in 2013.

But yeah.

This style of self-directed learning (Open Space) as well as collaborative learning (jigsaw) together form the structure of the stages I make in S P A C E’s ateliers, that is, Atelier S P A C E. Here’s what it looks like. A quick collection of five randomly selected images from my archives (I searched “workshop”, “jazz” and “16N“).

But let’s get back to our psychologist’s story, shall we?

Now, then.

Let me share what the method’s aim is.

The Jigsaw Classroom — a cooperative learning technique — is an efficient way to teach material that also encourages “listening, engagement, and empathy by giving each member of the group an essential part to play in the academic activity.”

At this website which is all about the Jigsaw Method and how it works, Aronson says:

“The city’s schools had recently been desegregated, and because Austin had always been racially segregated, white youngsters, African-American youngsters, and Hispanic youngsters found themselves in the same classrooms for the first time. Within a few weeks, long-standing suspicion, fear, and distrust between groups produced an atmosphere of turmoil and hostility. Fist-fights erupted in corridors and schoolyards across the city. The school superintendent called me in to see if we could do anything to help students get along with one another. After observing what was going on in classrooms for a few days, my students and I concluded that inter-group hostility was being fueled by the competitive environment of the classroom.”

What do we need to do to better connect, better engage, and better collaborate?

An architecture of social engagements that happen at work as well as independent of work, outside of focus group, as well as within them. Design. Let me get back to actually engineering things.

Engineering, is what it takes.

Engineering the sweeter moment.

Gonna start over, at my new site, dipikakohli.com.

Or check out the Jigsaw Method. If you’ve read to the end, I know you know how to find things out, on your own. Because the people who read to the end are those kind of people, independent, and stuff, and also, I like that I don’t have to tell you where everything is. I mean, heck. I don’t even know. How can one person scour the entire internet? Anyway. I loved the jigsaw method and true collaboration is at the heart of everything Design Kompany cares about. Collaboration, co-creation, jazzy mix-it-uppy improvisation. With the results that are modern, and speak for themselves.

Comments are open so if you find cool stuff, just say. Ta.

Image: Shunya Koide / ‘I’m a developer / designer. Also, love taking pictures. Based in Tokyo.’ shunyakoide.com

Experiments in Expression


Dipika Kohli put together the essay, ‘A Life That Isn’t Yours,’ in response to the feelings at that time (February 2020, Phnom Penh)… feelings, to be more specific, like wonderment. Why are people so influenced by posts on social media, and why do those ‘other people having so much fun’ trouble them so much? Obviously everyone is faking it. Why get ruffled? Why care?

Such was the reaction, for DK, and this was the impetus for pulling together photography from copyright-free websites and writing the captions to go with them. The result, ‘A Life That Isn’t Yours,’ is below. Reposted today. Originally posted in February 2020.

Dipika Kohli: ‘I will refrain from editorializing it and let you decide how what it means… to you. The role of the artist is not to ‘inform’, but rather, I feel, to respond to the things around us in the everyday, everywhere and give it a form that reminds those of us who are still asking questions, still interested in changing towards improvement, to go, ‘Waitaminut. Let me look a little closer at the things I consider meaningful, to me, and not just told to me.’ Oops. I think I am starting to editorialize. Let me stop here. ‘Kay.’

Enjoy ALTIY…

A Life That Isn’t Yours

Photo essay by Design Kompany

Continue reading “‘Susan’”

A Philosophy of the Moment · Miscellany

‘What’s it like in Vietnam, DK?’

Since I’m in Vietnam, I think it’s a good time to tell you a little bit about what I’m seeing, and how I’m experiencing, the pandemic, from here.

First, it’s weird as anything seeing news. Especially about what was happening in the United States in January. I mean, whoa. It was troubling, and that’s a very light word. I was reminded of being in Ireland and learning about the attacks on the World Trade Center. I remember that very, very well. Recently, thanks to making a new online profile on the business networking site LinkedIn, and, through that, resuming and restarting dozens of newly rekindled connections, I found the very folks who were with me at that time, in Ireland. Back then they had asked me, ‘Are you okay?’, and this time, we got to download a little about this year’s bizarre spectacle Stateside, too.


Ho Chi Minh City

Living very far away

Certainly you think about many things being very far away from the culture that has been familiar but which you chose to let go of, as best as you can, because it doesn’t ‘fit’ you. This is an abstract idea. Then again, what about DK isn’t abstract? ‘Kay, cool. [deleted] Continue reading “‘What’s it like in Vietnam, DK?’”

Experiments in Expression · Papers

3 May | Call for Papers

Papers is a way for people to explore ideas together, in a nonjudgmental safe space with a seasoned editorial team headed by Dipika Kohli at DK, to guide.

May 2021 Register at: http://call4papers.eventbrite.com/

What is Papers?

An online writing-and-design-and-generally-creative circle for community. Ambient community that is. International and asynchronous: ‘Papers.’

Here’s how it works.


How does it work?

No meetings. Just email: asynchronous, international. Four prompts, sent on Mondays at 7AM USEST. Email converstaions follow with your group, in order to develop your ideas, push past the edges of your creative thining, and link you to our international community.



Because we are tired of superficial, inane chatter and want some actual depth, progression and substance in our online converations. That’s why. Four weeks of amazing online conversations with a max of 4 hosted by DK. More than 120 issues of our zine have been created through ongoing conversations with our guests and collaborators.

Writing. Sharing. Making. New stories. Together. In S P A C E.

Advance bookings only. 

Register online.

Here is a link: