The French curves shown here are mine, and rarely used anymore. It makes me a little sad to think that’s the case because there is a certain joy and artfulness to using them. And more specifically, using them well. What got me to thinking about these was a quote I heard yesterday from a guy who manually charts the stock market. He said that “By doing something, you end up studying it.” And that pretty much holds true for drawing curves. Sometimes it’s a real struggle to get the curve you want and to make it fluid. And in that struggle, there is often an answer to the design.
Pre-answering machine. Pre-everything. Found at a long-since closed office supply shop on Howard Street in NYC.
My husband and I ordered take out the other night from the local Japanese restaurant. We ordered three rolls, hijiki, a green salad and some dumplings. When we were done cleaning up, I took a step back and really looked at the waste generated from all the containers used to transport our meal. I’ve done this before, but never been motivated to actually stop and think long enough to want to change my behavior regarding one of NY’s diehard habits. And then I did a quick and rough calculation: I figured that if they got just 30 take out orders a night, and multiplied that times the number of days in a week, weeks in a year and then times that by the number of Japanese restaurants in Brooklyn alone…I lost track when I hit 230,000 separate pieces of plastic. I started to feel dizzy and a little sick. Not to mention guilty. Basically, that is one shitload of plastic containers. There has got to be a better way! First of all, no more take out.
If one were to look at the dysfunction in our healthcare system through the lens of design, one could safely say that we are in deep deep trouble. I went to visit a close friend in the hospital this weekend, and I was aghast at all the cords and clip and tangles. There was absolutely no attention paid to aesthetics, much less usability, neither of which are insignificant or shallow, especially when one is ill or injured. My husband said it best: Hospitals aren’t designed for patients. They are designed for practitioners. I’m not even sure that is true.
The top photo is just a log. Probably destined for the wood stove this winter. The photo below that is the log my husband uses to split larger logs into kindling. I like the pattern.
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