When you use an object everyday, it really can sort-of become a part of you. You depend on it. You reach for it because you know you’ll find it. And in an odd way, it shapes you. It does! Slowly it begins to influence the formation of certain minute habits and physical choices. And, like all little things, these eventually do add up.
If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you may have gathered that I don’t tend to “get behind” things that I don’t actually believe in on some level. And while this ethos applies to my blog, it naturally applies even more in real life.
So when I got involved with my friend Darrin a few years ago and began to help him craft some images and messaging for a small personal art project he had been working on, it was because something about it resonated with me. I started to get it on a level that went deeper than just "oh, cool, neat stuff."
The reason it resonated with me was that it was actually about something. Something more than just The Stuff. It was about a set of Ideas. It was about creating and embracing limitations as a way towards growth. It was about stripping away whatever was non-essential in order to arrive at a purer version of a constructed object. And it was, deep down, about taking control over one’s life and developing a sense of Order, even in seemingly small ways.
These ideas, and others, have become the founding principles underpinning PACT, the design partnership that we have recently formed.
Why? Because even though our society is currently inundated with STUFF, we have decided to believe the old-fashioned notion that underneath the stuff can sometimes be found clues and pointers to the more important Stuff. We’re committed to that pursuit. And we hope that we can maybe find ways to live just a little bit better in the process, and inspire others to do the same.
(for more info… http://bit.ly/makeapact)
I once owned an iPhone 3GS case from the makers of the new line of Pact leather products now on Kickstarter. I held onto my 3GS way longer than I should have simply because I liked the case so much.
I am excited today to tell you all about a project I’ve been working on for the better part of this year! It’s called PACT.
My friend Darrin and I have formed a partnership centered around great design and built upon a highly principled foundation. Our first collection of products has been over 5 years in the making and reflects an uncommon refinement, a deep respect for the material, and an ethos of minimalism and simplicity that goes deep.
We have decided to pre-sell our initial collection via Kickstarter, so that we can acquire the specialized equipment necessary to produce it.
Specifically, we need lasers.
Because these pieces are pushing the edges of modern leather-craft in ways that no one else is doing, they require extreme precision to produce. You see, all five pieces in the collection are made using nothing but leather. No buckles, no clasps, no rivets or snaps. No stitching and no glue. Just leather—the best we can find, cut to sub-millimeter tolerances, and then carefully woven and folded together by hand to create fully integral cases.
We’re really proud of these and I would be honored if you’d give them a look over on Kickstarter.
Like any crowdfunding campaign, it’s critical that we get it in front of as many people as possible, especially in the early days. So I’m reaching out to my Tumblr friends to see if you’d help me spread the word. If you like what you see (and even if these aren’t the right product for you) it would mean the world to me if you’d share it with your friends and followers (or reblog this).
Thank you!! —Ben
Excerpted from a 1990 Bill Watterson commencement speech, via Diana Wattanapongsakorn.
Photos by a 5-Year-Old
My son Finn took all these photos (except for the first one, which is him). I was at a cousin’s wedding with my DSLR, getting mostly unremarkable results. So I handed the camera to him, made sure he had the strap secured around his wrist, and cut him loose. Apparently he bumped the shutter speed at some point, which created awesome results. I didn’t touch these up or add any filters before posting. My favorite is the one he took of Kristina. Only he could capture that look she gives her boys.
This is eerily and perhaps appropriately similar to the game Osmos, in which large blobs can swallow other blobs to become the biggest.
Russian data-visualisation designer Ruslan Enikeev has mapped websites according to levels of activity and the other sites visited by their users.
via The Guardian
The good folks at Hog Bay Software posted my Writeroom theme for screenwriters. How cool of them! (Thanks Jesse & Grey.)
“Here’s a theme I threw together for that “screenplay” look. It’s meant to be used with Courier. While I’m not usually a fan of this kinda faux dimensional thing, this actually serves bit of a purpose for screenwriters: it gives you a sense of how much of what you’re writing fills a page…
Miss Haviland: Is there any point that you would like to make, aside from the questions that have been brought up to you before and which you’ve answered again tonight?
Mr. Sendak: I love my work very much, it means everything to me. I would like to see a time when children’s books were not segregated from adult books, a time when people didn’t think of children’s books as a minor art form, a little Peterpanville, a cutsey-darling place where you could Have Fun, Laugh Your Head Off. I know so many adult writers whom I would happily chop into pieces, who say, “Well I think I’ll take a moment and sit down and knock off a kiddy book! It looks like so much fun, it’s obviously easy…” And, of course, they write a lousy book!
It would be so much better if everyone felt that children’s books are for everybody, that we simply write books, that we are a community of writers and artists, that we are all seriously involved in the business of writing. And if everyone felt that writing for children is a serious business, perhaps even more serious than a lot of other forms of writing, and if when such books are reviewed and discussed, they were discussed on this serious level, and that we would be taken seriously as artists.
I would like to do away with the division into age categories of children over here and adults over there, which is confusing to me and I think probably confusing to children. It’s very confusing to many people who don’t even know how to buy a children’s book. I think if I have any particular hope it’s this: that we all should simply be artists and just write books and stop pretending that there is such a thing as being able to sit down and write a book for a child: it is quite impossible. One simply writes books.
– Questions to an Artist Who Is Also an Author: A Conversation between Maurice Sendak and Virginia Haviland (a public interview at the Library of Congress held in 1971)
Maurice Sendak, a great inspiration… you will be missed.