Very deliberately, we were exhausted physically within the first 3 days. We were given no feedback, either positive or negative. We had no spare time to ourselves. We were never told more than a few hours in advance what challenge we would face next. We were sleep-deprived, woken unexpectedly, and at times not fed. Our challenges took us far outside our comfort zones. Our performances – good or bad – were greeted by blank expressions. Each night, we had intense de-briefs where a few of us would be grilled mercilessly about the decisions we had made that day. We were videoed and interviewed, all the time – constantly under the microscope. Half the time they probably didn’t even have tapes in the cameras.
“Honesty in the absence of compassion becomes cruelty. Tenacity unmediated by flexibility congeals into rigidity. Courage without prudence is recklessness. Because all virtues are connected to others, any strength overused ultimately becomes a liability. One must be able to exhale as much as we can inhale.”—Tony Schwartz The Four Paradoxes of Great Performance via The 99 Percent
“In Holland, we have two words for design. One is vormgeving; in German formgeben. And the other word is ontwerpen; in German entwurf. In the Anglo-Saxon language there’s only one word for design, which is design. That is something you should work out. Vormgeving is more to make things look nice. So for instance, packaging for a perfume or for chocolate in order to make things fashionable, obsolete and therefore bad for society because we don’t really need it. While ontwerpe means, and the Anglo-saxon word, but its stronger, means engineering. That means you as a person try to invent a new thing—which is intelligent, which is clever, and which will have a long-life. And that’s called stylistic durability. It means you can use it for a long time.”—via Gert Dumbar, jacecooke
“In lives of the little old generation, film camera existed for granted. Everyone loaded their cameras, got their films developed by photo studios and printed photography out. It was an era when people purely spent time for photography. However, while the number of shutter increases by the spread of digital cameras and cellphones, I feel that we are gradually losing opportunity to take time for a piece of photo. Recent cameras have become easier for people and had a lot of functions except just taking photos. If it will not be necessary even to focus my camera on an object by my hands, I wonder how photography in the future is going to be. If you treat with film photography, I’m sure that everyone will experience the feeling of excitement for a while to wait for development. Maybe, you sometimes think that you might not have taken photos properly. Therefore, the time to know if it’s succeeded is inconvenient and troublesome. But, this is a time that we need. This is exactly that we face photography. The reason why we like film cameras is films somehow show nice atmosphere. On the other hand, digital cameras are convenient and have lots of functions. Both are correct, and both are worth. But this is not exactly what I want to mention about. This is not a familiar case of story about the film vs. digital. Photograph will capture amount of time and consciousness to spend for it. It has nothing to do with analogue ways and digital ways as well. It depends on what you want to take photos of, and what you aim to. But, if you like photography, there may be a hint in ways to spend time and think of it. Even when we use digital cameras, we may be able to notice something different if we stop seeing photos taken then and there. This is neither criticism of digital cameras nor praise of film cameras. I just feel that we need to imagine process of deep thought about photography. When I see photos which decades-old anonymous people took and left, I can obtain the feeling like “something existed there” for sure. I release the shutter today as well while I wish I could take photos like those.”—Hideaki Hamada - The important thing of photography Translated by Tetsuro Nohara
“Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It’s simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.”—Tadao Ando
“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”—
I think of this story often (it is one of my favorites) as a reminder of two things
No matter how famous you are, or how important you might become never lose the ability to be surprised and touched by the love of strangers.
Remember the love you had for things as a child, one without embarrassment, reserve or complication. The kind of love that would make you eat something just so it could be part of you.
“Don’t make something beautiful and then think about what makes it culturally effective and evocative. Think about what is culturally effective and evocative and then make it beautiful.”—(via designxculture)