Thursday, May 04, 2006

Palms & Making Stuff

Well I just returned from Palm Springs for my cousin’s wedding. The weather there was really great and a welcome change from the erratic temperatures of TO. Besides the obligatory US shopping that we did we also went to Joshua Tree National Park which is a remarkably stunning place. The general area near Palm Springs is pretty much a desert sandwiched between two mountain ranges. The terrain there is pretty dry and arid. However this didn’t stop the inhabitant of the area from laying sod everywhere they could. The entire area is filled with lush tropical greens and Golf courses for as far as the eye can see. Oh, and since it rains once a year, they have sprinklers running 24/7.

On the day we drove up to Joshua Tree we passed the amazing fields of windmills, turning at random and the scenery quickly transitions into the natural desert. Then, once you cross the gate to the park, all signs of human intervention disappear. As we drove along the only road through the park I couldn’t help but think of what the planet has gone through since human existence. The scenery here is truly unspoiled and the nature random order of it all is breathtaking and leaves you with a sense of amazement. It was so real it looked fake.

The other trip out of Palm Springs was to La Jolla, a small coastal town just north of San Diego. The town was very small and all the roads curved up and down on the step cliffs. The town had some amazing sights and we ate at a great restaurant.

Overall the trip was great. The best part was that because of the lack of distractions I was able to read. I am now half way through Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, which is so far a really intriguing read. It describes the nuances of trends, epidemics and all things that tip. From a design perspective I am really enjoying the case studies and the information Gladwell covers is really inspirational and hopefully will be of help one day when I finally start producing products and ideas for the market.

In combination with Gladwell’s book I just finished listening to all the Design*Sponge podcasts which are very good. They are very inspiring and make me want to make! The more I think about it I feel I need to physically produce things. Although OCAD is targeted at developing strategies and principles for integrating design thinking into business practises, I flip through portfolios and notice how they differ from mine. They have physical objects and I don’t. Although I have built a few prototypes along the way, I question whether potential employers can actually hire someone based on hypothetical designs which are essentially just in the concept phase. So as I am moving towards my thesis I plan on fully realizing products to really grasp the process of transforming, conceptualizing into implementation.

Here is to making!


design*sponge said...

psst: so glad you like the posts!

;) d*s

Nate A said...

hey grace,

thanks so much for commenting!!! I just saw your comment now. I love your blog, hope you enjoy mine. Hopefully I will be able to design something worthy of it.