Monthly Archives: September 2009

Wisdom and Experience

I don’t know if anyone else has seriously thought about this, but for those who are just starting out in the working world and adult life, have you ever wonder what people who are older than you wish they knew when they were our age?

The expression “Youth is wasted on the young.” is often mentioned to make the point that older people (whom I’ll refer to as “Wiser People”) know what life is all about (at least more so than us youngins). I, at the same time, often look back and wish I could redo some things in my teenage and college years, had I known what I know now, so no doubt the Wiser People wish they could do the same for when they were in their twenties.

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Advice for (Design) Students 2009

Thus begins another school year for my alma mater. For the past two years, I gave some advice to design students (2007, 2008), whether they just started, or that they’re one year from graduating. I reviewed the previous entries recently and noticed that they still all apply. Whether you should follow what I say based on my current career status is another thing.

Nonetheless, I will add onto the list, though since I sort of ran out of design-related tips for design students, I’m going to instead offer advice from my post-graduation experience to all students.

Never Stop Learning

I mentioned variations of this in the previous lists, but it’s important to be explicit about this one, especially since I really believe in it. Schooling may end after graduation, but you never stop learning. As a side advice, don’t assume you know everything, because you don’t. Be humble and ask the right questions when you don’t know. I’ve never actually seen recent graduates get cocky in jobs, but I’ve heard that it happens quite frequently.

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Digging Deeper Workshop

If you:

  • live in the San Francisco Bay Area,
  • are interested in doing something related to sustainable design,
  • are free this Sunday,

then I recommend you to check out the Digging Deeper: Building Blocks for Sustainable Design Workshop (and Competition). The workshop is this Sunday (9/27/09), but the month-long competition is optional.

My friend Alan Wells of Haku Wale as well as (I found out recently) the communications chair of the SF chapter of IDSA is helping to produce the event.

I cannot possibly describe the event as well as others could, so I’m just going to quote a one-sentence paragraph from the site:

“Digging Deeper seeks to give the Design Community an opportunity to use design thinking to generate a large set of potential solutions to local sustainability problems through competition.”

Tickets are $60, but $45 for AIGA, IDSA, and IxDA members! I think that even if you don’t enter the competition, it would still be a valuable experience to learn about sustainable design.

Here is a little more information about the event:


What Am I Doing? (September 2009)


Near the end of August, one of my good designer friends from college contacted me about a contract job in the Visual/Signage Team at her workplace at a Pottery Barn corporate office. Not only was it great to see her again, but it was also refreshing to be in a working environment that is different from the one that I have been in.

Without getting too much into the details, I’ll just say that the job is to put together a seasonal guide book for internal use, and it allows the opportunity for me to be asked back and work for future seasons. They also had a bunch of little tasks that need an extra hand with, so I helped the team out with those, too.

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TED: Evan Grant: Making sound visible through cymatics

Screenshot: TED: Evan Grant: Making sound visible through cymatics

This is quite fascinating. There had been many approaches to seeing sound using abstract representations, but this is a direct, physical approach to that. It’s similar to using water to visualize sound, but this is more concrete!

Sound can make patterns!