Issue #81

This week’s issue is ready to share.

It’s called S P C | Sài Gòn • ‘Start with Something Simple’.

#81

About ‘SwSS’…

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.

Here’s a link.

http://gum.co/space-saigon-swss

Thanks!

Issue #75

Today, we share the newest issue of our weekly zine, S P C. It is Issue #75, S P C | Bangkok, ‘The Last Copy is for Reading Here.’

Our feature artist this time is Napisa Leelasuphapong.

Her photography is on the cover, and inside pages, too.

#75

Photography, cultural identity and S P C

About the photography: ‘It talks about the way Thai elites in the period of colonisation borrowed the Western coloniser perspective,’ explains Leelasuphapong, ‘in looking at native villagers as ‘the others’; identifying them as barbarians to negatively identify themselves as civilised persons.’

She is referring to an academic article, ‘The Other Within,’ by Thongchai Winichakul. Getting more and more curious, we reached out to the author, who helped us learn more about the idea of place vis-a-vis a nation’s identity. You can find a Q&A with Winichakul about his 1993 article ‘The Other Within’ inside this issue,

The lead story is by DK Director Dipika Kohli, and is a first-person account of the experience going to Bangkok and discovering, on the spot, ‘In the Margins.’ Ahead of the publication, the conversations on email were very interesting and fun and also made us really get focused on what S P C is, and aims to be ‘So far, S P C has been about discovery–going to the field, seeing what we find, whom we meet, and finding ways to “create aesthetic moments, together”… which just means, did something cool happen.

‘Conversations with depth, exchanges of value… it doesn’t always turn into anything—occasionally places feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, or unwelcoming!–but we can take what we feel from discovering, deeply, not trivially, and investigating in one spot for a time and turn those feelings into issues of our zine. A few favorites for me are  S P C | Brooklyn, ‘Art for Art’s Sake’, which was a great co-creation, and S P C | Aarhus, ‘Janteloven’–one of the early ones. It’s still figuring itself out, of course, but more and more, it’s designed to invite and include *new* and *different* others to connect, and interconnect us, in remarkable moments.’

To be really honest, not that many people read our zine, or subscribe… we had a big idea about ‘meet the world’ in our crowdfunding campaign a few years ago, but I think… we were idealistic. That’s okay. Still managed to continue making it, and publishing every week, too. Made an instagram, some people seem to like that, instagram.com/dkompany... More to say if you want to hear more. Ask us.

S P C | Bangkok, ‘The Last Copy is for Reading Here’

You can find the zine in our store.

Here’s a link.

http://gum.co/space-bkk-lastcopy

Thanks ;)

 

Issue #68, S P C | Rīga, ‘This is This’

A year ago at this time, DK was getting set to jet set from Bangkok to Rīga.

Why Rīga?

Art nouveau, for one. Conversations, for another.

Put them together, and you get… This. This week, S P C | Rīga, ‘This is This’.

Cover art is by Nils don Sihvola. (Discover his emotive digital photography works at instagram @nils_don_sihvola.)

Writing and inside graphic art is by Dipika Kohli.

It’s members-only, this one.

Start your subscription and learn more about the issue at the link.

Here’s the link.

http://gum.co/space-riga-this

Issue #65, S P C | *Secret Location*, ‘Cake Walk’

Earlier this year I started hosting real life popup conversation parties. The big idea was that we would pick a city that we all wanted to go to and show up for a few days, to find our way, together. Sometimes we book into the same guesthouses or hotels or whatnot, and sometimes we just meet up for part of the day. It’s like that. Free-form. As and how you want to roll with it is how you can roll with it. And stuff. Usually I wind up making the final decision about the locations, because I’ve been to these spots, personally, often multiple times. So I kind of know my way around a bit. Where to go for what, in the form and fashion that my kind of friends enjoy. Low-key, mostly. Unpretetious, unassuming, non-instagrammy. Know what I mean? I guess it’s like touring. But it’s like tour-plus-philosophy party and it’s also invite-only, more or less, these days. This week, I wanted to share S P C | *Secret Location*, ‘Cake Walk.’ It’s inspired by someone I met in *Secret Location* about seven years ago, JPC. (Thank you for the sharing. Thank you for the conversations. Welcome, and… welcome back. I wrote our story into this issue of S P C…)

#projectepicurus #spacethejourney #spacethezine

Order S P C | *Secret Location*, ‘Cake Walk’

Here’s a link..

http://gum.co/space-secretlocation-cakewalk

Issue #62, S P C | Bangkok, ‘Step a Little Closer’

Today we share our Bangkok issue, S P C | Bangkok, ‘Step a Little Closer.’

This title of this issue is from a 2015 poem I wrote,”Step a Little Closer,” for someone who helped me understand what S P C was trying to become, before I even knew myself. HT MT.

This week’s issue of S P C contains an excerpt from the freshly completed eBook by Dipika Kohli, called Step a Little Closer. 

SPECIAL EVENT TIE-IN. To mark the publication of SaLC with a live event, DK will be reading from the new book at Neilson Hays Library in Bangkok on Wednesday, for a special discussion about this city, its “as told to DK” stories, and how anyone who wants to write their own stories can do that, too. More about that once-off 27 Feb event is here: http://salc.eventbrite.com

 

Order S P C | Bangkok, ‘Step a Little Closer”

It’s an exclusive for members of S P C.

Start your membership when you order S P C | Bangkok.

Here’s a link…

http://gum.co/space-bkk-step

Thanks ;)

12 years ago, DK rebranded Seattle’s Northwest Asian Weekly

Cool.

The Seattle community paper, Northwest Asian Weekly, is still using our rebrand all this time later. I’m updating our portfolio here to reflect the highlights of our past work in design, and communications, and so, wanted to post about it here.

 

How we rebranded a 25-year old paper

Everyoneeditors, copyeditors, publisher, designers, other staff, occasionally those passing by, and DK worked together to come up with a fresh update, a new template set, typeface selections… the works.

Concepting took a good effort, but it was important, for us, to get the story first. So we sat. And talked. For several sessions, just setting things up so the real talking could begin. In this way, we could do what all designers love to do when they are writing their own creative brief: be present, listen, and make sure you hear everyone. Goal, for DK, then, was to gather inputs from the full team at NWAW. 

But it started with the whole big metaphysical question, 25 years after you got started, ‘Who are you now?’

A box over the i, which you can see accented in the design for the masthead, was inspired by the answer we found, together, through dialogues at a round table. Which was, ‘A window to the world.’

Will need to find the better resolution files from our redesign process, but I’m terribly disorganized with old old files, as most people are, and it’s fine, but why I bring this up is because I do recall the file I placed onto the CD of files I had delivered when this project ended, which was, ‘Brand Story: A living document.’ A word file, meant to be something that future editors and designers could visit, and reshape, as time moved on and needs changed. These things happen. It’s inevitable. But a good design leaves space for that… leaves room to grow, and change. To me.

 

Writing & Publishing

Since I personally love community journalism, I was hawpy to be part of this project, and lead the effort to shift over to a modern, clean design from the original style.

In 2013, When DK got set up in Cambodia, I began to write for the paper, too. I sent in this column, ‘The Village Report,’ to the NWAW. It was easy to think of the idea, given what DK had gathered about what the aim, vision, story, and idea was for the redesign. ‘Window to the world.’ Made sense. It fit. It worked.

Project Epicurus

S P A C E | Winter 2019-2020, ‘Project Epicurus’

Co-create with us, in the cloud and in our ‘miniparty’ real life series, too.

S P A C E is for conversations. It’s hosted by DK.

Learn more >

Issue #47: S P A C E | Kärsämäki, ‘The Field and the Horizon”

For this issue, DK’s creative director Dipika Kohli worked with A. Spaice and our newly budding creative team in Penang, Malaysia, in November, 2019.

Wrapping a year’s worth of reflections on the idea of growth, change, seedlings and new beginnings, it is a soft version of something that heretofore in our magazine has been rather geometric and angular, in style and attitude. Yet time and sharing, more and more, has opened us up a little more to ourselves, and to a very small section of our innermost hearts.

 

Quiet places

There, in the quietest places, something new is aloft. Seeds, seedlings and search for new grounds, fallow periods and more make their way into these pages, indirectly and perhaps abstractly, but with, we hope, a feeling that gives itself rather than asks you to pay attention to it.

Here’s a link:

http://gum.co/space-karsamaki-field

Thanks ;)

Issue #46: S P A C E | Huế, ‘An Art of the Moment’

The artists gathered for this co-created zine are four very curious people.

Art, natural patterns, and words intertwine in a collaboration between them.

 

The nature of art

Lee Moore Crawford, a floral designer and artist, once struck up a conversation about the Japanese art of ikebana when DK happened upon her arranging flowers at a coffee shop in Durham, NC, circa 2011. We never forgot it.

So when DK collaborated with another creative person who takes inspiration from nature to make the cover image of this issue (Dipika Kohli took the original photograph in Huế, then forwarded it to digital processing artist Nils don Sihvola in Finland), we wanted to ask Crawford what her feelings would be. Lots came of this interaction, including a short piece, ‘Bloom.’

To give the collection continuity, we then circled back to former culture editor Michael Bridgett, Jr., whose article, ‘Why I Art,’ opens yet another fresh perspective.

Order it here.

http://gum.co/space-hue-aotm

Thanks ;)

 

Journalist Oz Katerji: ‘Newsrooms need to be more diverse’

FOR A WHILE, I used to work in newsrooms. A weekly alternative paper in Europe from 2002-2004, then a Seattle daily from 2004-2005. I remember walking away from them for many reasons, but there was definitely a feeling that I had way back then that is resonant in something I found today online. This, from Yahoo News:

The BBC has issued an apology after Stacey Dooley[ (who has been criticised in the past for her perceived lack of knowledge or understanding while presenting various documentaries*)] referred to a Muslim prayer gesture as an “Isis salute” in a documentary  broadcast last night (Monday 5 August)… The offending scene, which showed Dooley using the term “Isis salute” to describe women raising their fingers in the air, was cut from the programme after being used in the documentary..

..However, the raised index finger is a symbol of Tawhid, meaning “the unity and uniqueness of God as creator and sustainer of the Universe”. The gesture is a common part of Islamic prayer, and has been used by a number of Muslim football players during goal celebrations.

TellMamaUK, a social media watchdog for anti-Muslim incidents, condemned the moment and tweeted: “To reduce such a fundamental and important concept to a mere ‘Isis salute’ is grossly wrong, ignorant and damaging.”

Award-winning BBC journalist Anisa Subedar tweeted: “Does Stacey Dooley know us Muslims raise it every time we pray (that’s five times a day) to remind us of the oneness of God?

“This is what happens when you pass over real journalists to cover these kinds of stories — those that require cultural sensitivity and compassion.

“What happened here is insulting and offensive to Muslims and journalists.”

Journalist Oz Katerji tweeted the BBC’s response after he submitted a complaint, and linked the mistake to a lack of diversity in newsrooms.

“While I am disappointed Stacey herself has not apologised, I am satisfied with the BBC response and will draw a line under this here,” he said.

“I have no doubt that this retraction was prompted not by me, but by dozens of female Muslim BBC journalists that were also offended and expressed their feelings about it. I can’t stress this enough, newsrooms need to be diverse, and if you hire more diverse staff, this won’t happen.

Cross Cultural Design and why it matters in an era that believes in ‘right answers’

Found something really cool today at the website ThirdCultureDesign.blogspot.com, by self-identified ‘Third Culture Kid,’ or TCK, Gerrit J. Hoppe. I think it was about 2011, if I’m reading and understanding correctly, which is interesting. Why is this old, underpopulated site, coming up on page one of a search about ‘cross cultural design?’ Hmmmmmm.

 

Identity, politics

Oh! But this is the thing. Identity, right? Identity and culture. Between-ness. And design. And uncertainty. And knowing that you have to trust the process. And being okay with more than one answer existing at the same time, even if those answers cancel each other out. This is no-brainer stuff for people who are international… people who cross cultures all the time, and that doesn’t mean just nation-boundaries (who needs those?), but other ones. The way we grow up. What a certain word means to us. Whether or not we believe that orange and chocolate are a classic combination or not and if we don’t we can argue about it for hours and hours if we are the type to do that, TCK-type types, I mean.

K.

That’s a side thing.

An inside joke, thing.

Hrm. Should I be writing inside jokes into serious blog posts about culture, identity, politics, resp0nsibility, ethics, and design?

[Long story deleted]

 

Focus, focus, focus

 

I am writing, again, behind the scenes. In protected-page posts. About design. Culture. The open road, uncertainty, trusting the process. And much, much more. It is a journey of change and discovery, it is an important time of learning and reflection. Especially given all that is developing and unfolding in a world that doesn’t know how to cross cultures intelligently.

I think some are uniquely positioned to write, share and publish about the how of this. About noticing. About listening. About engaging. And I want to find those people. And interview them. And write more, and make a podcast, “S” is for Sincerity, is the working title. I really need to do this work but I don’t know how this is going to actually happen, given that it takes hours and hours of time, and like the article I was talking about (link, coming up) before going into this long-winded side story says, you have to immerse to get into a space, place, and moment to really say something worthwhile. Am I there, yet, by now, to be the interviewer? I don’t know. I want to try to keep learning, but it’s also important to hit ‘go’ sometimes, before we’re even ready, because, you know, Greenland is melting.

 

What design can learn from crossing cultures

The article!…

Quoted therein…

“The term cross-cultural design has become popular lately. Nobody designs in a vacuum, and we rarely design for people in the same life situation as ours. These days, it’s almost effortless to talk to and work with people all over the world. This is a fantastic development, and I think it’s really helped broaden people’s horizons. As a designer, though, it means we now have an extra set of responsibilities. The term “cross-cultural” implies that designers remain in their home culture and survey others from afar, designing from a distance. This isn’t enough.
I think it’s important to engage in intercultural design instead, in terms of how we think about problems and then act upon them. “Intercultural” implies more immersion and personal engagement.” —Smitha Prasadh

 

As Prasadh hints, the key element to intercultural design is immersion, but as immersion into a new culture takes up large quantities of time, it has been nearly impossible to accomplish in the past…. Read the full piece here.

 

PhotographyMad.com

Salon: Origin

ORIGIN: ‘What is fromness?’ is inspired by ‘Ask me where I’m local’ by Taiye Selasi: ‘When someone asks you where you’re from … do you sometimes not know how to answer?’ Selasi speaks for “multi-local” people. In other words, people who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. How can I come from a country?, she asks. How can a human being come from a concept?’

Origin: What is ‘fromness?’ Join Design Kompany in an informal setting for a conversation salon, ‘Origin.’

We’ll be talking about questions that help us all reflect on self-identity, whereness, and the notion of ‘where I am from.’ The program is light, and a slight redesign of our 2014 Origin conversation salon in Phnom Penh, in which 16 people gathered for an unusual experience of talking with complete strangers about close-to-the-heart questions. Since then the event has also been seen in Bangkok and Hanoi.

Come meet people from a wide mix of backgrounds. People whose paths you might not have crossed. Who are interested in taking a good, honest look at questions like: Who am I? Where am I ‘from?’ Who is my family? Where is my home? Questions that, we learned in 2014, truly open the heart. And help us learn more about one another, as well as ourselves.

  • ‘I never imagined I’d meet so many different people.’
  • ‘I wish we’d had more time! Thank you.’
  • ‘Weird and interesting!’
  • ‘Refreshingly honest.’

This event is for members of S P A C E and their guests. Learn more about how to become a member of S P A C E here.

S P A C E || Finland

Printed set of limited-edition zines from the new collection, S P A C E || Finland. For members of S P A C E.

Join S P A C E here.

The Book of Songs

Drawing for the ‘Book of Songs’ to live jazz, Siem Reap

TO TIE IN with Oulun juhlaviikot on seitsemän festivaalin (the summer festival in Oulu), DK will make a popup installation of zines, drawings, and cutouts. This is part of an international series, The Book of Songs. DK draws to live music, especially jazz, in cities like New York, San Francisco, Bangkok, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur.

Meet the artists, get the zine, and catch the poetry. And jazz. Free with RSVP.

RSVP through this form, location details will be announced only through email to those who get in touch. See you in Oulu!

Hei Kesä @ Cafe Onni

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Celebrating International Zine Day

PIENOISLEHTIEN TEKEMINEN on Suomessa vielä harvinainen harrastus. Työpajassa tutustut lehtien tekemisen mahdollisuuksiin ja opit taittelemaan ja tekemään uniikkeja tai monistettavia vihkosia. Sisältö voi olla kuvia, tekstiä tai ehkäpä pieni tarina. Millaisen lehden sinä voisit tehdä? Pajaan osallistuminen ei vaadi aiempaa kokemusta tai valmista ideaa. Ohjaajana taiteilija Dipika Kohli, Design Kompany (US). Ohjaus suomeksi ja englanniksi.  €10 (hinta sisältää materiaalit, sekä kahvin ja leivonnaisen)

Mukana voi tuoda myös omia aikakausi- ja sanomalehtiä sekä askartelutarvikkeita kuten sakset.