Our Conversations Take One Hundred Paths

Sharing endless conversations over coffee and rye bread. Never done. Nothing else is needed. In these moments I want time to stop, I don’t want to have the clock ticking in the back of my head or the to-do-list that creeps closer. I just want to be here, in the cocoon we create together in this moment, and trust that whatever comes next I can handle.

Some friends make us stronger. They see us, and help us grow. Sometimes they point out that one behavior we are struggling to understand about ourselves. They point it out in such an obvious manner (free of judgment, simply a statement) that we cannot say anything more. Words are not necessary; they don’t add anything or change anything then and there; but instead we say “Yes” nod and smile “That’s exactly what it is.”. We let the words sink in. Because when they say it, we can.

Friends like these are rare, and I am lucky to have a fair few. Their words surprise me and stay with me. I hear them in my mind over and over again. That phrase they said, that hit just that nerve and struck a chord with me, and because of that come up in my mind month after month until I have resolved the issue, made that pipe dream of mine reality, and confronted that behavior. This is only one way they support me, help me move forward and grow. I am so lucky to have them in my life. <3

For example, without them I wouldn’t have started this blog that I enjoy so much.

Spoon “No Touching”

In school we had a two week project on norm criticism. The first week we were introduced to our different senses and, for example, how much we rely on sight and how sight is prioritized in our every day to day lives. People designing the world we live in don’t take all kind of people into consideration in the same way.

This project’s staring point was an haptic approach to our different senses and how to design considering all aspects of what we can perceive with this one sense. I got ‘mouth’.

Prototyping with both silicon and clay grip.
To reach better I made an extended version.

We use a spoon to feed ourselves and/or others. The thought to use the mouth itself to do so suddenly came to me, made me smile and the feeling “I have to Do this!”. 🙂 And some people do not have arms and they need to feed their babies too. Then the mouth become an extension of the spoon and so part of the spoon itself. This makes the body more engaged in the gesture.

The Countryside Place

This is the countryside place where I have spent almsot every summer of my life. I think there are two exceptions during almost 30 years. 🙂 Naturally this place is special to me. When I come here it grounds me, my grandparents and the forest ground me, center me, calm me. I know this place. I know the paths of the forest, where the fallen trees lay, where to pick blueberries and the islands near by. Nature constantly changes but it doesn’t make me feel unsafe. It has its rhythm and it grows slowly, steadily, with power rather than force. Here are no demands, no pressure to be nor become. Here I am enough, no matter what that is. Here to give is not to perform, but to be present.

Trustworthy Tray #1 & #2

Since I adore my morning coffee moment I discovered another problem with it. The tray. Once I have placed my coffee cup and milk jar onto the tray to take them from the kitchen into the living room both slid around the glossy melamine surface, risking to spill their contents and fall off the tray. Why do you create a tray that is not safe to transport things on when this is the sole purpose of a tray?

This made me search for ways to create a surface that would do the opposite, that would be stable. I found that there is a coating called non-slip surface achieved with different techniques put onto trays made out of birch veneer with a top and bottom layer of melamine. Either such a surface can be a liquid brushed onto the tray and then heated to solidify and get non-slip, or an already non-slip sheet can be cut out and pressed onto the tray.

Sample tray with non-slip coating. It makes the color of the tray a bit foggy.
Collages I made to try out the scale and shapes of the trays (without non-slip).

Then the manufacturer discontinued their non-slip coating because they wanted to developed it further. When I called back six months later they had not gotten any further, which made me look into other materials that naturally are non-slip. 🙂

Prototyping shapes in cardboard.
Prototyping shapes and sizes for different use.
Three shapes I liked the most.
Samples I made from cork sheets which I cut out and glued together to ideate the different shapes and how they felt in the hand.

What I have learnt from my readings is that cork has its own natural binder, resin, which is released when heated. Put under pressure the cork granulates can then be shaped. Cork’s distinct color comes from the heating process. If no other unnatural substances are added, the cork can be repurposed, recycled and it is biodegradable. Also, once you have cut down the cork barque from its tree it grows back naturally, which makes cork an environmentally friendly material this way too.

The cork samples above I sent in with my design school application. I did a short demonstration on how trays mostly don’t work and how non-slip and cork actually do. 😉

To be continued… 🙂

Bake Bread Fika Bake Bread

The recipes are from a wonderful French bread book written by Éric Kayser I bought at T Side Daikanyama, Tokyo. Every time I bake I remember the nights spend there, flickering through books and magazines for hours. I wish Stockholm had such a place too; a place to study; with a coffee shop to recharge; a bar to relax in; a convenient store; and numerous shelves of books and magazines paired with benches in the windows to sit in and read.