Search This Blog

Monday, November 27, 2006

After watching my weekly dose of ANTM, I just felt like riding the bike around randomly today, so this afternoon, I did just that. Listening to a 'This American Life' podcast about 'The Canadians Among Us', I headed down to Yoyogi Uehara and biked around on some of the bike paths which run through the park. It was an interesting day - fairly warm, about 16C, and it didn't feel as if rain was imminent, although it did rain later, but in the the park it was misty and damp and QUIET! and riding through the fallen leaves and looking over the wet fields it was hard to imagine the chaos just outside the borders of the park. I had the distinct feeling of being in back in BC or in England somewhere - the grey damp has a way of pulling you back there, I suppose!

Tiring of the quiet fairly quickly, as per usual, I headed aimlessly into the Harajuku/Omotesando area, and then back up and over to Shibuya, parking the bike in my usual spot near the ward office, and then headed to a cafe I'd noticed when we drove past it on Saturday - DexeeDiner. Nothing about it would have stood out to me amongst all of the other funky places to eat in Shibuya, had it not had this intriguing slogan plastered on their signage: "Wanna read and dine?" Indeed I do! And in fact, I do so compulsively without invitation anyway, but a restaurant which encourages the practice of lingering over a book seemed too good to pass up!(bad keitai photo, but you can kind of see the wall of books as you walk in...not sure if there are others anywhere else - these were everything from Dr. Seuss to Cats in the Sun to the Art of Portraiture)

It was a pretty cool place, with fairly minimal furnishings, friendly staff and delicious food! I had the Manhattan Tossed Salad, and chose the 'A' set of toppings - chicken, avocado, onion chips (tiny deep fried sweet onion rings), and black olives with Cesar dressing. (my other dressing options were 'American' or 'Japanese' both a bit too ambiguous to try!)
(another bad keitai shot, kind of the front half of one level... I didn't see the upstairs...)

As for the reading, most people, to be honest, weren't, but then again, they weren't alone and obviously didn't have the same ideas about reading at the table in company that I might have, uh, grown up with :) The restaurant did live up to it's promise to provide the books, and in the entry way there is a wall of lovely art and design books you can borrow to peruse over your meal. Despite having my own book (of course!) with me, I decided to see what they had on for offer, and was pleasantly surprised to find a very interesting (in English) design book.

David Carson: 2nd Sight: Grafik Design After the End of Print is part David Carson design retrospective, part typographic masterpiece/nightmare depending on your tastes, and part collection of essays with a philosophical bent on the innate connection between design and intuition. As opposed to necessarily believing that you need a reason for every design decision you make, Carson feels that there is, and should be, an element of 'just because' (intuition) in design. Personally, I agree... Nothing to sap your energy like a shitload of forced process work and a rationale to top it off with a side of BS.

I definitely don't think that there shouldn't be any thought placed into the how and why, and you certainly need to make sure that your design is going to be suitable for the end user, fit your client's brief and retain its usability, but I also don't agree with having to justify every little decision. It doesn't encourage introspection, it just encourages you to make stuff up!

Haha anyway, I really don't know what I'm talking about - I'm a design school dropout after all, but anyway, I enjoyed my lingering read over tea...

Headed back home in the now dark, and decided to enter the digital art competition I read/heard about via Metropolis awhile back... I don't have anything to lose, so whatever, I might as well! Waiting for Peter to come home so I can dump CS2 and Flash on his computer and start creating some digital art(ish) work. I'm planning to base mine around the idea of 'party/revelry/merrymaking etc' (you pick one of three kanji to visually represent as part of the competition). My general idea is to somehow make artistic graphs of ten imagined people's experiences at an imagined dinner party - showing how their moods change as they all intersect with each other. I want to give some kind of visual time line of the emotions and interactions of a dinner party, and then work everyone's graphs in together to make one big image. I know I'm not explaining this well, but I'm still trying to work it out in my head! (I have until December 11th)...

I love this kind of information design, where a greater concept is worked into a visually appealing pattern (with varying levels of being able to tell what's going on at first glance). For an example of what I'm not explaining very well, check out these textiles by Saldo. It's not a great way to see their work, but basically, they took a fight scene from a movie, and broke down the choreography of the entire scene into a crazy pattern which they then turned into a repeat for textiles... Anyway, we'll see how it goes (I'm thinking it might be overly complex!), but I've wanted to try something like this since I read about a similar project in our Critical Issues textbooks last year...

Ummmm after that, Venus and I walked down the street to pick up some fruit from the corner store, and then I made pasta and garlic bread (yum!) for dinner, and finished my book, Hungry Ghosts, while I ate. The ending was better than I thought it would be (as in ten pages out there were a lot of loose ends and I didn't think she'd be able to deal with them), and the one character who can only be described as a sick bastard got his due, so I was happy about that - for awhile it looked like he was going to get two girls, plus his whore house, when really he just deserved to be alone with his disgusting self....

And that basically brings us to the present - working on the blog, maybe going to make a few more notes on this dinner party thing and decide if I actually like the whole idea or not, (I guess York did indoctrinate me with some process work compulsions!) and that's about it - nothing too exciting!


No comments: