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.


Desk Notes

Finishing touches, ebbs & flows

Called Cambodia today.

Breakfast in Cambodia, by DK’s Dipika Kohli (Kismuth Books 2016)

There is the virus. There is more of it than before. There are concerns and there are provisions, there are floutings, there are commiserations, and, like here where I am in Vietnam at the moment, there are the warm middays. These are the things I am hearing, in calls with friends and colleagues in Cambodia, in days of late. Was trying to find my way back to Phnom Penh for most of 2020. Then, it started to sink in that that just wasn’t gonna happen. So [deleted]… and now, here I am. Continue reading “Finishing touches, ebbs & flows”

Desk Notes

‘Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard’

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.

More soon.

The race is long. In the end it’s only with yourself…

Found in the Field · Mixtape · The Muse

Mixtape | See you Saturday, maybe

Good evening from Ho Chi Minh City, ladies and gentlemen. Let me share with you the mix tape, ‘See you Saturday, maybe,’ featuring a few musicians I’ve gotten to listen to often and sometimes even chat with in real life (remember when that was a thing?) about art, composition, intrigue, and sharing.

Every time I hear the Cambodian mix I feel a little homesick for one of my more recent ‘homes’ (I have a lot), namely Phnom Penh, hence the song I’m including from Justatee about the feeling of wanting to go home. it’s a good mood, suddenly, listening and feeling. Of course I have to end it all with Punjabi tunes.

Since I’m big into relational aesthetics, I have to acknowledge all the people I was thinking about while making this. HT PS, over in Chandigarh, or?, somewhere thereabouts. Mixtape, ‘See you Saturday, maybe!’, dedicated to my friends NDS, aka DNLD on Soundcloud. And VT. Cool. Thanks, too, for MM for inspiring me lately. And of course MD and AM for always listening when I need to talk. And CS. Gosh. I have a lot of people I can count on in these difficult times. Lucky me. Special thanks of course to Boss. And SJ, who told me to blog more and write what I think, which I appreciate. Though he probably isn’t reading this, I want to say, ‘I hope you are safe, there.’
Found in the Field

An invitation

For those who are interested in co-creating future issues of our mini-magazine, get in touch about the September 14 start date (late registration) for ‘Papers.’

I sent some invites out for this a few days back. If you got it, cool. If you didn’t, and you are curious, and we already know each other, just email me. I’ll send you the passcode and you can take a look. For all others, I’m just going to do an open call, but not until I have more time for that. Say, in December [see earlybird registration page].


DISCOVERY & CO-DISCOVERY. ‘Papers’ is happening in collaboration with Kismuth Books, which is another project of mine. Like Design Kompany, Kismuth has found its own way in the world and discovered itself through that meander.

Both projects aim to create spaces for people to relax and discover. Whether it’s through reading or co-creating works of design or poetry or what have you, the motion towards being in a quiet and comfortable space that’s not too overwhelming or noisy or overpopulated is the intention for us, here. Then, you just show up. Then, everything starts. It goes where it wants to. Nonlinear, no agenda. The rules of Open Space include: the people who come are the right people, it starts when it starts, it’s over when it’s over, and the things that happen therein are the only things that could’ve. 

In other words, you just let it happen. Much like a jazz jam session, which I talk about a lot. But also: design. The creative process that is best styled is that which listens for the interesting-ness to emerge.

In that same vein, we do our things, in ‘Papers.’ In virtual space.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED. If you’re new to DK, the next opening for applications is December [see earlybird registration page]. But if you aready know me and are curious, please get in touch on email. I’ll tell you the details, and share the passcode, and we can talk about it.


Still writing, and still co-journaling. Only differently..


In 2014 I started something that was an early version of this, it was called ‘the cojournal.’ And now, after a real, I brought it back but in a clarified form. Naturally. I’m in the business of design and so, when I learn a thing about what works or doesn’t in a space, I want to make the next one even better by applying what I’ve gathered. The pros of last time were that we could talk a lot with a lot of people, because of the way it was arranged. The cons of last time were that we could talk a lot with a lot of people, which meant it got a little unfocused, bloated, and overwhelming at times.

I lost interest in my own project and asked people to cancel their subscriptions. Really. Two guests did not, which was quite endearing because they had each asked if we could carry on, somehow. So I reframed it from ‘cojournaling’ into more of a mini-magazine. Just like, made by the people who are talking, and read by us, too. It almost feels like a social media platform that’s highly curated, and walled off, and no one knows what’s happening except for those of us who are participant. And, importantly: fully present. It’s not one of those things that you have a tab open for, and visit casually. It’s a space for really getting acquainted with each other. And ourselves. Long story. I can share. Slowly, if you’re curious, and if you do that hard thing that people have these days which is making a choice to show up for this. I show for people who show up. And. That’s. It.


Since May it’s been going quietly, like this. So far, so good. Things have emerged a lot already and it feels right, it feels good. Topics continue to emerge in that nonlinear, playful, light, but not insignificant sphere of discovery and design that is uniquely DK’s mode. If you want to try it, and you are brand new to DK, then I think we can talk about trying things out together in… December. I’ll have more free time then to get to know new people. I’ve just really gotten tired of new people, lately. And old people who became, to me, rather unintriguing. So yeah. Shifts. Edits… Speaking of editing… I have to go now and finish editing End of the RainbowWish me luck, yo.

Papers · Publisher's Diary

Design is listening

Making space for people to write more. Sharing our stories together as we go. Designing the syllabus for September, based on threads that are emerging. Conversations, every single day, as well as those that have been going for years and years, interlace in DK | Papers. The next call for applications will be in December. Check out FB to keep up with us, there. Meantime… I’m learning as I go that design isn’t ‘making meaning’ as I used to say before, in the 2010s… or ‘trust the process’ as I would keep on talking about, too. It’s something else. Far more important.

Design is listening.

HT Y, VT & P from DL conversations. And also: A & A in DK | June Papers.