Designing for the aesthetic moment

GOOD MORNING FROM Phnom Penh. Quiet reflection, at DK World HQ, here at the turn of the year. Three issues of our ‘A Philosophy of the Moment’ collection for Winter 2018-19 are ‘done and dusted,’ as we used to say in print. Except these are digital. So ‘done and filed’, I suppose. And much more is ahead, thanks to good work and great people whom we’ve bumped into and who are challenging us to explore, experiment further, and push the envelope.

WORLD TRENDS. Because now more than ever, the work to bring us together instead of drive us apart is obvious to everyone who is trying to collaborate meaningfully across divides of all kinds. Or even just take note that there do exist huge chasms that keep some from being heard: on purpose. Looks like with our programmes to make zines with people near and far by gathering us in very small circles to really pay attention to each other and learn, DK and our teams are riding the wave of a worldwide trend. A wave which includes many things that we’re still discovering about, just now. Political theory, for ex. Relational dialectics. Intersectionality. And more.

NEW STARTS. These first S P A C E issues, (pictured above), are set in Finland and Cambodia. They will be part of a larger collection of co-created zines designed and put together for DK’s Winter 2018-19 S P A C E collection. It’s called ‘A Philosophy of the Moment.’

Thanks to new crowdfunding support, DK are able to give our full creative attention in early 2019 to the making of new zines in this co-creative manner.

As in the past, what we’ll make from now on, too, will be put together in new places, with people whose paths in those locales might never have crossed. Gathering. Connecting. Interconnecting. Sharing: in real life, on the spot, in the moment.

Dialogue. Design. Making meaning. Aesthetic moments. Self discovery. Showing up. Conversation and connection and space for real life.

Collaborating teams at DK are making S P A C E.

To hold all of this.

ZINERY. At first, it might look like just pieces of paper. But the zines make it possible for us to discover each other and give time to get to know new perspectives, and flesh out our own ideas, too. So that’s why, once you get to experience it, you find out that zine-making and our ateliers offer more than just paper productions. Experiences. And much, much more. Hard to describe. Hard to claim. But if you’ve been there, you know.

ATELIER S P A C E. Looking back on the work to gather and connect people for hyperlocal, high-quality moments of dialogue and co-creation to make ‘zines,’ there’s a lot that is becoming clear to us. All these years of designing for clients and you get to know when to pay attention to the emergent pattern: the inklings that become the height of the ‘a-ha’ apogee and the sudden awareness that yes, here it is, this is the thing, the concept, that here we are, OMG WTF, that this is really it.

 

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OUR TEAMS at DK are, as per usual, talking. Processing. Sharing. Learning, through dialogue, across chords of a circle that stretches the globe. In this way we are practicing ‘aesthetic moment’ design. Which is what I wanted to talk about here, today.

The different places we’ve been have brought us close to new populations of ideas, new kinds of query-making. Forays of a variety that are vast and have a particular kind of beauty; not knowing that these were there, because you can’t ever know, we trusted the process. Going where we don’t know anyone, seeing what we can learn, and trying new things, in real life, on the spot. Together. It’s been 5 years since this all started, with the ‘Year of Uncertainty’ project. (No agenda, no plan, no income, no savings, no contacts, and airplane tickets to a city in Southeast Asia we’d never been to… round-trip tickets that we’d only use half of. All that led to lots. Learning, meeting people, quality, more. But the upshot of it is something I can’t encapsulate here, in the public-facing blog. It is, however, something that we can elaborate on in our eZine.)

More about the learnings on ‘relational aesthetics,’ ‘relational art,’ and ‘relational dialectics’ vis-a-vis systems thinking, ahead for those who are with us, starting from January and through the year. Links at the end of this post, if you’re curious about how to get on board.

Aesthetic Moment: a fleeting sense of unity through a profound respect for different voices in dialogue.

Certainly it takes time to get to know an outfit as weird and crazy as us lot, here at DK. But yeah. We love a great party, and the online stuff is pretty fun. Feel free to sign up to get email to get to know us better. Or, jump right in to a part of the conversation when you subscribe to S P A C E. Subscribe here. More on the way.

A happy New Year from all of us at DK.

Thanks for reading, for connecting, and for inspiring us when we have had the chance to meet in person and talk deeply about so many, many things.