I always have this guilty feeling when I start blogging about stuff while I actually should have been doing stuff. On another hand, writing is also the simplest form of an act. If you consider writing is work itself, the completion of a writing piece also brings you a sense of accomplishment. I always should have done more anyway.
The latest Kinfolk Issue includes articles and interviews around a topic I have been thinking about lately Can we create Happiness by Design? I used a pencil to underline all the ideas that click with mine. One the very first article, it was mentioned
The strategies employed to create a perfectly proportioned bookshelf can also be used to enhance our personal well-being.
This somewhat shares the same idea with the philosophy of Marie Kondo in her book about decluttering.
The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.
In other words, it is suggested that by designing our surrounding, we are actively designing our happiness. By applying design-thinking in every aspects of our lives and involving questions about the comfort of our inner-self in the process, we would actually take care of the unspeakable problems and create a harmony between our mental and physical world.
If we all agree that everything in our lives is design – to solve one or many particular problems – we should also agree that it should always be human-centric. A good design should not only be beautiful and functional (which was already hard to achieve), but also touching.
Beauty is aesthetic with feeling attached to it, basically – it not only looks good, but it touches you. It goes one step beyond aesthetics.
There’s a list of questions that a designer needs to answer before starting the work. It seems to be that back in the old time we tended to create goods that help us to answer the basic questions like how can we eat without dropping food on the floor, and thus we solved it by a simple solution, i.e a bowl. Now we need to answer rather more complicated questions: how does this bowl make me feel good about eating, or how can I get people to enjoy the precious dining time together? In a fast speed, rapid life we are living, these questions seem to be more concerning and require a more complex, thorough solution.
It’s actually interesting for me to realize at this point, it’s true that, we are making our life more complicated than it should be. I don’t think the dinners I used to have in my childhood with mom and dad needed fancy plates or carefully crafted spoons to make it more tasty and joyful. Everything was simple back then, when time is not calculated every second and eating was simply a pleasure when you are surrounded by your beloved. But in the essence of all that, I believe there was always a touch of design that made the meal delightful. It lied in the way mom decides when is the best time to serve food for everyone or how to arrange the dishes in a colour-balanced, nicest-looking way. Growing up and moving far away from home have turn this natural event to be rather luxurious.