For this blog post, I’d like to share two sources that I’ve recently come across in continued thinking on my opinion paper for GRDS 701 – project B. Here they are:
The interesting thing about both of these TED talks is that they address an issue which is almost taboo in our culture (or maybe the culture of the northeast where I live and work) – the notion of rest, slowness, and time off. I think my wife and I really noticed this when we went to Europe in the late spring of this year. During our ironically busy vacation (mainly because we had booked so many sites to see and places to stop that we wanted to get them all in in a few weeks), one of the biggest and most glaring differences between Italian culture and American culture is the notion of social speed as it relates to meals. Carl Honore talks about this in his conversation, but it’s a fascinating reality – and we had so much fun with that change of pace, even if it was only for the duration of a meal.
In my own observations, I feel as though much of the conceptual notions of slowness, focus, etc. that came out in my limited literature review have underneath them the assumption that a simple enjoyment of life can be found in simple tasks and simple experiences – and we lose something when we don’t plan enough ‘margin’ into our schedules and time to enjoy those things. This is obviously a challenge for me as I’m in the middle of an MFA degree and am also working. When deadlines at work and deadlines at school don’t talk with each other but instead decide that they want to coexist, things can get intense.
Anyway, all that said, I’m interested also in Sagmeister’s thoughts on the subject of rest and slowing down – particularly from the perspective that better and more engaged (and more human) design work is produced when it comes from someone who knows how to rest. This is surely antithetical to most business cultures and the day-to-day operational structures of most jobs. For my part, I wholeheartedly agree, and have seen this play out time and time again in my design work – when I feel proportionally ‘balanced’ in terms of work, home, and my other priorities, my work benefits greatly. Interesting stuff.