The Village

An online forum. 12 weeks.
Begins 12 September.
By invitation only

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DISCOVERING PEOPLE. Going around the world. Changing as we go. Developing new things. Innovation starts with stepping out of the box and playing a little, in S P A C E. At least, that’s the abstract idea that led Design Kompany on the 2013 ‘Year of Uncertainty’ project landing us quite unwittingly and unimaginably unpreparedly in places like the mystifying Sikkim, or a writing residency at Preetnagar for the Preetlari Magazine in Punjab, or in Phnom Penh for a series of unexpected things that came about because… hey, we are here.

‘Let’s make something happen, shall we?’

‘Yes. Let’s.’


About us

THIS IS WHAT MY POINT IS. Since 2013, we’ve been on the move a lot… Hanoi, Vientiane, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Delhi, London, Copenhagen, and other places, near and far. Not for travel, because there is no place to go ‘back’ to for us here at Design Kompany. Where we are now, Phnom Penh, is World Headquarters for our studio. We do some things when we go to places, but it happens spontaneously, on the spot, with the kinds of people we run into and say, ‘You know what? I think I like you. Let’s do something. Let’s do some kind of a jam.’ And they go, ‘Yeah. What?’ And this is how it happens. This is how things turn into projects, new journeys, beautiful collaborations. But starts with showing up. And making the space.

As you go about thinking offline and writing in your journals and noticing people are not talking to you, and getting weirded out, and then, standing up and walking over to them and saying, ‘Hey. I just thought… you’re here, and I’m here. Shall we talk?’ and later, getting better at making this kind of thing less awkward (‘conversation installation, anyone?’), then yeah. When you do this, and you stay stubbornly away from things like Facebook (but not instagram, which is hypocritical) something happens. A network begins to be formed. A kind of web. Not one that you are doing for the sake of it, for show. But a real one. A small one. Quality matters, not quantity.

So then, you gather email addresses, instead of social media follows. You know, I didn’t used to be this cynical about social media and when I got to Phnom Penh people were like, ‘You don’t have facebook and you’re in Phnom penh and you want to do business? Good luck with that.’ They were, for the most part, correct, which is why we have a whole other person dedicated to fielding local things and administering stuff. You know, even with social, I had all these contacts that pile up in a deep vat of… what? Who? I don’t even know… I remember having a personal facebook, I remember there were 300? people or so there, and a twitter, too. Deleted them. In an analog way that’s similar, I just threw out like 78 business cards. I only have about four now. They are the ones I designed for clients in Seattle. Maybe one day I’ll get back to this kind of work, and then, if I do, these four cards will be my ‘portfolio.’

CONTENT. Because when the conversations lapse (real ones, or online) I can’t for the life of me recall what I said to anyone. Oh, yes. I said, ‘Why are you telling me this online? Why can’t you just call me, we could go for a tea?’ I am interested in real life, I said. But… all this time later, having met some of my internet friends now in real life in cities of Europe and going, ‘Well, this is extraordinary!’ and stopping getting so mad at internet all the time, I realize that it simply wasn’t true. I am not necessarily only interested in real life. Fact, it can be al little intense, can’t it? Super awkward when people think all this talking together means more than it does.

What I am interested in is depth. We don’t have to be best friends, or anything. But if I’m not learning as we talk, what is the point? If you aren’t learning, what is the point? So what if this. What if we design a way to learn and connect, and at the same time, I can interconnect you with one another? In very small circles, mind you. I don’t think it should become an out of hand kind of a thing. Each person’s voice is very much welcomed; each person’s perspective truly counts. The Cojournal Project, which preceded this one, was a prototype. There was a lot of learning, changing, and growing, and together we made The Mirror. I want to invite a handful of people to the new circle. The Village is opening again on 12 September, but it’s by application and invitation and you really do need to care about quality for this. It’s not a ‘maybe’ thing. So you have to apply… There is a fee to participate, too. Ask me anything through the form below? More when I hear from you. –DK


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