A Grandfather’s Gift to a Grandson He Never Met
As my family tells it, his face—with its defined lines grooved by dirt, strife and time—held a solemn look most days. Weary or apathy was not the matter, it was a face well worn. A face having spent time in his village watching the nearby river slowly dismantle the fading banks. Even with all those years between him and the war, it was a face etched with wrinkles wrought by the tears he could no longer shed. Anymore, his mood would shift only after dinner.
Finding Meaning in the Meaningless
We aren’t owed anything in this world and I personally do not believe the universe has any inherent meaning specifically lawed by nature for us humans, the minuscule things that we are in the greater vastness of space.
And yet, despite believing such, life is full of poetry.
Self-examination in depression, silent suffering, and emotional suppression as a byproduct of toxic masculinity and how the creative process of writing can be a first step in allowing emotional and physical expression to perhaps one day coexist.
Again the rain begins. And so it’s been. Stare long enough out there into that rain-streaked window and you may start to lose sight of the picture on the other side. What you may start focusing on however, are the little globs dribbling down glass panes. Some droplets may defiantly cling, holding on rather than sliding down to meet with others. Some likely pool in a corner, weighing heavily with every patter.
Waiting. Weighing. Waiting.
Asynchronous reflection on the personal experiences of Othering, racial microaggression, and being an Asian man in America.
They say you build a thick hide the more you endure. I still feel soft inside, though the metal armor I’ve slowly wrapped around my identity continues to dent and ding with the passing of time. I suppose that’s the nature of armor. The moment you put it on, its usefulness is in absorbing the blows. And there have been many.
An exploration on time, travel, nostalgia, memory, and the power of displacement.
Time. Like passing trains on parallel tracks. I’m crammed into one in New York, and then Boston, then Chicago. In every car I see clear, lucid frames, my window intersecting with the windows of the passing carts, all quick snapshots in time. I don’t know the person on the other side of the frame, but for one moment we share a space. It’s so tangible, I want to rewind the film, 35mm subway cars realigning that I may ask through these windows:
Who are you?
Have we met?
How far away was it from here?
Building the Bridge
Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing at a Philadelphia tech company for a position as their Product Designer. During what was an intense, yet fun interviewing process, the founder gave me one final request: “Teach me something you assume I would never had the chance of knowing or learning before.”
It didn’t have to be about tech, data, or design. It could be as obscure or as ubiquitous as I wanted it to be, but I had to take the short amount of time to teach him something new and I had to be able to get him somewhat proficient.
For those of you who know me, you know I of course asked: “Have you ever learned gung fu?”
What is Bridging
Bridges connect. They provide paths over obstacles that, prior to the bridge’s existence, was impassable or nigh impossible to pass.
This week, we will dive into what it really means to “bridge” and how this can be a helpful strategy in designing experiences.
A Stone at a Time
At the onset of solving a design challenge, like much else in life, planning for the task seems insurmountable. Projects are large and their scopes seemingly infinite. Getting from where we are now to where we want to be as an end product is too abstract. Each design problem is a new journey and with new journey comes new experiences.
For the long game, keep your eye on the prize, but remember to focus on building the steps to getting you there.