I was listening to this song on a yellow radio that only had a few channels and was super staticky, in a studio in a school in Brooklyn where I was ‘living in New York City once.’ That was 1999.
I was doing some screentprinting. Weirdly, the things that I was making then, on that day, were very similar to what I’m doing today. In S P A C E. Words and images. Poetry. No screenprinting, now, but still. It’s fun to hit ‘print’ sometimes and collage a few zines.
This song came up in a conversation that is going to take shape in ‘Rapprochement.’ Which has everything to do with the things that have to do with angling yourself against your… past…
The story, ‘Rapprochement’ will be shared soon. It’s written by S P A C E contributing writer Michael Tharamangalam.
The race is long. In the end it’s only with yourself…
A two-year roving popup ‘zinemaking’ program, Atelier S P A C E, is currently parked in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. From here we are co-creating zines with our new friends and acquaintances in this city who are interested in writing, design, art, graphic design, illustration, and photography. The idea isn’t for us to ‘teach’ these skills. It’s for guests to have a chance to truly collaborate, in the fashion that is uniquely DK’s. In S P A C E.
WHO THIS IS FOR. It takes a very specific sort of personality to show up for our style of collaborations, in our studio’s ateliers. We started in Seattle in 2006 and are heavily influenced by the agile design methods we learned there, mosty by osmosis, at a time when ideas and enterprise and thinking together with our clients and teammates was working really well. Things change, shift, and here we are.
A VIRTUAL PROGRAM. Discover our process, by taking part in a short-run version of our explorations in collaborative writing: the Cojournal Project.
A lot of conversations happen at an ‘N’ and this time was no different. We are ready to share, meaningfully and not trivially, in the online follow-up sessions. They’ll be virtual so our ‘N’ guests from ‘N’ HCMC, which *happened* in the magic way only ‘N’ can, can see and discover others in our S P A C E programs, as we network, together, one designful moment at a time. It’s been fun, HCMC ! Thank you.
The workshop will happen virtually, over a period of sequenced prompts that you and DK can work on together 1:1. OR, if you are in HCMC and somehow following this blog and curious about things we are doing, PLUS you have been thinking about ‘who am I and what is my life purpose?’ then I have SELF in a mini-coaching session for some Saturdays to come. Because, why not? I’m here.
I may as well share what I know how to do well: give leaders the space to relax, to discover, and to connect deeply with a part o themselves that actually already knows the answers to these questions.
So yeah. What makes me qualified? Well, if you’re reading this blog you probably already have been following my work and story, yes? If you’re not regularly popping over to read this blog, then whatever I say is just me saying it and there’s no way for you to know if I’m telling you what’s real. The internet has made everything weird. So.
The lead story for this issue is ‘Bờ Biển 1999,’ or ‘Seaside 1999’. It’s by Quân Nguyễn.
This story is in Vietnamese and in English.
Special thanks to DS Phong for editing.
Two images made by Boss are included in this issue, too. Cover image is a show of new works that is a collaboration to make new kinds of zines and art books. This project is led by team members of Atelier S P A C E / HCMC, who are, so far, Văn Trần and Dipika Kohli.
Feature writer: Quân Nguyễn
Quân Nguyễn writes about his reflections on visiting his home country while returning to his life abroad, in Denmark. On his way to Aarhus, in this quiet moment, he looks back on childhood, and recalls a friend. A dear friend, whom he has not quite lost touch with as they maintain a digital connexion. Yet, somehow, he feels far. A short flash fiction work, in both English and Vietnamese.
Watching, listening. Looking, sharing time. This issue’s one of my favorites, from this year. It’s a photo essay from a recent walk that members of our team in HCMC shared, together, discussing as they went along meandering the things that detail… nothing in particular. As per usual. Looking at the collected images that came back from that outing, I thought of space, time slowing down, and the kinds of large and lofty philosophies that come into shape when one is ‘drifting,’ (ref. Situationists).
In this issue, which is called S P A C E | Sài Gòn, ‘Street Museums’, Atelier S P A C E | HCMC collaborates with artist-poet Ilyas Kassam, who lives in London. DK’s project, Atelier S P A C E | HCMC, is a crowdfunded effort. It’s led by our team members in that city, who are Văn Trần and Dipika Kohli.
Ladies and gentlemen, without further paragraphs of text, I give you Issue #96.
DK | The Charette is a new series of conversation-starting for online connexion. New and different others can find meaningful discovery and co-discovery opportunities, in ‘The Charette.’ It’s asynchronous, international, small in scale, highly curated, and open-ended. We are exploring. Together, in S P A C E.
The signup information will be shared in September with those who register here to indicate interest. Learn more when you register; we’ll share where to find out the who, what, where, and why. Note: there is a fee to participate.
Hosted by DK’s creative directors, Akira Morita and Dipika Kohli. DK is a studio that focuses on design, design thinking, and innovation since moving to Phnom Penh in 2014. Prior to this, DK specialized in concepting and brand identity design. The studio was started by the directors in Seattle in 2006.
This new short project, ‘The Book of Feelings’, will coincide with DK’s September appearances at the SF Zine Festival. Ask us more about it.
It’s going to be the first time in many years that DK will ‘present’ something in the United States. I think it was 2015 when we were last there. We were in Palo Alto for a summer, discovering and also, gathering people whose paths might not have crossed for conversations. In real life. When you could do that, of course. I remember the whiskey bar and my friends from Seattle colliding in real life with my new acquaintances from brunch parties and study abroad connections and the odd passerby who happened to be interested enough in the invitation. ‘What are you doing tomorrow?’ Those are the beginnings, of things, sometimes.
Meantime, I’m at a new beginning. Writing and sharing, ‘The Book of Feelings.’ So far it’s a colored pencil scrapbook pulled together from A3 pages that I sewed into a makeshift ‘book.’ Nothing fancy, just that. For now. Sharing as I go, but very, very selectively.
The exact outline of what we will be doing (virtually) for ‘The Book of Feelings’ in September will be shared soon with those who are indicating interest. It is going to be a members-only event, this one. It will be free for members. Membership in S P A C E is $5/week. You can find out more, and register for membership, at this DK’s S P A C E crowdfunding page.
To focus on deepening and cultivating a few choice relationships, we started the subscription service in 2019. The idea is to manage the flow of exchanges with just a very small set of people so we can deepen, and learn from, the conversations that emerge. Small circles. (No more than 4 per opening, seasonal opportunities). It’s think-y think-y but also light, and fun. Sometimes we have members-only opportunities to share about, too, like mini-teleconference calls in zoom meets, and other stuff that becomes interesting or useful to our members, a curated sharing by DK that is based on ongoing conversations.
Gain full access to DK’s protected-page posts and join our backchannel conversations. To do this, become a member. Membership is USD $10/week. This is how to sign up: Go to our crowdfunding page and select ‘Basic Membership’ for S P A C E, from the perks.
It’s called S P C | Sài Gòn • ‘Start with Something Simple’.
Trang Le’s story, ‘A Discovery of… Myself,’ is the lead story. It is in Vietnamese. One of the most sharply observing young people DK has met in a long time, it is a chronicling of the author’s experience slowly passing time in Đà Lạt, away from home. Two of her photographs showcasing the natural beauty in and around Đà Lạt are included, too. You’ll also find some quirky terrariums created by Dinh Ngô, who shared these images with DK for this issue after we happened to find them in real lfe. He, too, like Le, had found new ways to discover—in this case, a new creative pursuit—over the period of lockdown. Experimenting with making… terrariums led to a new outcrop of beginnings, it seems. The cover photograph and inside images give you an idea of the vibe.
Special thanks to Bích Ngọc, who translated into Vietnamese Dipika Kohli’s short dialogue, ‘Phoneless,’ about a true encounter in real life in Ho Chi Minh City with someone who, like Kohli, professed he, too, does not have a phone.
How to order..
S P C | Sài Gòn • ‘Start with Something Simple’ is ready to order.
Be a part of an international conversation in the cloud
About this Event
Since 2017, Design Kompany, or ‘DK’, has been publishing a weekly e-magazine called S P A C E.
The idea is to discover, and share, the stories of us… the people we meet, where we go, and what we find out together. In conversations that last sometimes hours in a stretch, or spill over through multiple days, we get to know our guests at Atelier S P A C E meetups, which are almost always by invitation, only.
The way it works is then we find a theme. Write our feelings, our ideas, our stories. Then, share and discuss them. Together.
When you join us in July, you’ll have a chance to sample this experience. You’ll have a chance to interact with us in this way… only, in the cloud, not in person.
Maybe you’ll see your own writing featured in our magazine, one day !
This is a chance to develop your work, explore with others also doing the same, and get the ace advice of our seasoned team of editors, designers, and professional writers over at Design Kompany, too.
Apply here. [If it’s a fit, you’ll hear more from us by email…]
This issue’s title is ‘Continuous Partial Attention,’ a term that was coined, according to Wikipedia, by Linda Stone. Special thanks to Stone for allowing DK to quote from her work on the center spread, of this zine.
Why this topic? Well! Glad you asked. As anyone who knows DK personally knows, we prefer attentiveness, intention, selectivity, and, of course, our signature personality trait: focus. Exploring deeply into this topic of ‘continuous partial attention,’ we decided to go back and pull a favorite old story from our archives to redistribute this week.
The lead story for this issue is, ‘Undefined,’ by Michael Bridgett, Jr. His work features in other issues of S P C, including Issue #46 ‘An Art of the Moment’ and many more, as he was a contributing editor and early collaborator in helping DK find its footing towards the making of more and better S P C.
Michael Bridgett, Jr.
‘I believe in the power of spontaneity and improvisation–the creation of something powerful in the moment,’ says Michael Bridgett, Jr., also known as Mike Dynamo, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Phnom Penh. ‘And possibly never to be seen again. It allows me to be fully present. When I perform, I draw on the energy of the crowd and the people around me, amplify it, and give that energy right back, ten-fold. It’s my superpower… In my writing, I strive for honesty, speaking about things that many don’t like to talk about. I want to make people think about their assumptions, because assumptions are a direct result of not being present and not engaging with what is in front of you. Of course, sometimes I just want to riff on video games, comics, and movies I love and analyze.’ mikedynamo.wordpress.com
S P C | Sài Gòn • ‘Continuous Partial Attention’ is ready to share !
Good conversations, with depth and substance, are taking place behind the scenes here at DK’s blog. Wanted to share a little of the backstory of how this whole ‘Papers’ idea got invented. Working on that, this month. Thinking, sharing quietly, 1:1 on email with the people I feel most ‘get’ it.
Late registration opportunity for June Papers..
Here’s what it is.
For the very curious.
A conversation in the cloud with new and different others. Guests are from DK’s 2006-2020 network of friends, collaborators, past clients, and newcomers. Make a space and discover your stories. As usual with DK’s spaces, *anything can happen*. But, given who has already registered, it looksl ike writing and poetry mostly, for June.