It’s curious that change is so fast technologically and so slow socially.
Curious people become smart by accident.
Their curiosity simply pushes them into various rabbit holes.
Guided by a childish desire to understand why something is the way it is, they end up exploring webs full of strange to them, initially, things.
The relentless desire to explore the world we live in. To understand why people behave the way they do. To investigate what caused something to work makes them read articles, books, even old newspapers and look for solutions outside their field of work.
This essay on Why Curiosity Is Better Than Being Smart? sent me down the rabbit hole that is the website of Ivaylo Durmonski. A huge collection of long-form essays and book summaries “for avid readers and thinkers alike”. Bookmarked.
A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.
Interesting article from Metropolis on the urban design of Japan’s capital and Why Tokyo Works.
The most influential companies in the world put all their energy into getting us to click, react, and consume. If you work on a computer, procrastination awaits you everywhere, all the time. How do you beat it and get things done?
A well-written, practical guide from one of my favourite studios, Swiss-Japanese iA Inc., to help End Procrastination —just in time for the upcoming new workweek.
Tsundoku (積ん読) is a beautiful Japanese word describing the habit of acquiring books but letting them pile up without reading them. I used to feel guilty about this tendency, and would strive to only buy new books once I had finished the ones I owned. However, the concept of the antilibrary has completely changed my mindset when it comes to unread books. Unread books can be as powerful as the ones we have read, if we choose to consider them in the right light.
Having a bunch of unread books piling up on my bedside table and jamming up my shelves, I can absolutely empathize with Anne-Laure Le Cunff on this one. After reading her essay on the power of unread books, I won’t feel as guilty about getting more and more books despite those waiting already to be read anymore —I’m just building an antilibrary myself.
Now I just need a similar explanation to justify getting new records, even though I still haven’t listened to all of the ones I own already.
Minus is a finite social network where you get 100 posts—for life. While you can reply to a post as often as you like, every time you add to the feed, it subtracts from your lifetime total. When you reach 0 posts left, that’s it. No exceptions.
In his work, the artist focuses on the cultural, social, and political effects of software and his latest project, Minus, is his take on a social network. It shares some aspects with traditional social media websites –like a main timeline and personal user profiles, but every user can publish only one hundred postings in total.
You can read more about the fascinating project on the artist’s website or join the network yourself —something I wouldn’t recommend for any other social network.
Tokoro is used to describe the location or site of something, but it is also used to describe a state of being. In Japan, the idea of place is indistinguishable from the historical, cultural, social, and other connections contained within it. The idea of tokoro therefore implies the idea of context, as the place is inevitably connected with all the activities around it.
Being a designer, space obviously plays an existential role in my professional life, so naturally, I’m always happy to broaden my horizon with new ways of thinking about this subject matter. Like with Sekki, Wabi-Sabi, Ikigai and Shikake the Japanese have some interesting perspectives to offer.¹
Deriving from the foundational traditions of Shinto and Buddhism, the Japanese idea of space does not only seek to describe spatial set-ups but tends to focus on the connection between its occupants as well as the interplay of humans, the environment, and society at large.
The essay The Japanese words for “space” could change your view of the world gives us western readers a quick overview of the four different Japanese words for space called tokoro (所), ma (間), wa (和) and ba (場), providing a very different and therefore very interesting thinking about this topic. Not only but especially for designers an article worth reading.
¹ If you want to learn more about the Japanese concepts mentioned, I recommend the following books as an entry point:
- Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life by Beth Kempton
- The Little Book of Ikigai: The secret Japanese way to live a happy and long life by Ken Mogi
- Shikake: The Japanese Art of Shaping Behavior Through Design by Naohiro Matsumura