Friday, September 2, 2011

Design & a Typhoon: thoughts

An Emergency Drill in Sticky Weather
A typhoon is lurking. We have been under the threat of rain and wind for three days with little happening. We wait, we sweat.

Today, an emergency drill exercise was scheduled at the elementary school. The pickup was scheduled between 11:20 and 11:40 a.m. at the child's classroom. With two children to get, I thought it wise to arrive early. However, at 11:15 we could only wait for the official time for the exercise to begin. I forgot about the precision of Japanese culture in these types of matters. My nose is redder for the sun, but I waited the requiste five minutes. The use of inside shoes was dispensed with for the exercise- we trekked into the school with our outside shoes- it seemed strange even to me. I waited in line outside of the Moose's class, then the Mule's, and then we walked home together. I can only hope in a real emergency that the Moose will be inspired to walk faster and more directly home. I noticed many of the other mothers used small hand towels to mop their brows, repeatedly. It is very sticky.


Seeking a Beautiful Home
With our house being remodeled, my thoughts consider what is a good idea and a reasonable expense versus what is a luxury and too much. Beautiful form that is functional takes thought. I saved this quote about beauty (below) from John O'Donohue:

Not everything in us is beautiful. We need to undertake the meticulous work of clearance and clarification in order that our inner beauty may shine.

Though he is writing on finding inner beauty, I was thinking of my surroundings- meticulous work is essential for both. I thought a couple of rips of a magazine and poof an idea and voilĂ  it is done. It's not so simple. Add this, take away that, good design considers many things, but it takes time to clarify what is essential, functional, and beautiful.

In 1853 John Ruskin delivered three lectures on art and architecture to an audience in Edinburgh, Scotland. They were later printed in a book titled Lectures on Architecture and Painting. It speaks to the need to consider the consequences of our choices.

...every farthing we spend on objects of art has influence over men's minds and spirits, far more than over their bodies. By the purchase of every print which hangs on your walls, of every cup out of which you drink, and every table off which you eat your bread, you are educating a mass of men in one way or another. You are either employing them healthily or unwholesomely; you are making them lead happy or unhappy lives; you are leading them to look at Nature, and to love her—to think, to feel, to enjoy,—or you are blinding them to Nature, and keeping them bound, like beasts of burden, in mechanical and monotonous employments. We shall all be asked one day, why we did not think more of this.
John Ruskin

No pressure, but the remodeling is underway and in motion, I need a plan.