Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Talkin' shop... 10 points

1. I've been a little lost thinking about what to do with this blog now. The decision to turn Head Full of Snakes into a bike mag makes me think, obviously enough I guess, that this blog should also be just about bikes etc from now on. I suppose that's what it's become mostly recently anyway. My initial idea with this blog was to write about three things — design (graphic design mainly), music, and motorcycles.

2. I may start another blog on which to continue to try and write about design on.

3. Or I might just keep doing what I'm doing?

4. I am interested in the overlaps here too though. This is best evidenced in my recent post about Design Thinking. If I was to flesh an article like that out would it go in Head Full of Snakes or The National Grid?

5. I spent last Saturday with John Taylor-Leigh again. We put the gearbox back together on my Norton, and got most of the way through putting the primary back together but couldn't finish it off properly as he thought we should replace the woodruff key that holds the stator on. I'm looking very forward to getting the thing started again sometime soon.

6. Following the recent 'Design Doing vs Design Thinking' post, I purchased the book above, 'Shop Class as Soulcraft' by Matthew Crawford. I saw a very brief review of it in One Percent Magazine, an NZ car/bike zine that is in it's early days. It'll be interesting to see how it evolves. Actually I thought when I first saw it I wouldn't need to make a bike mag, but I still do. Not that One Percent is bad. It's cool. I just want to see/read something different... and that'll be the point I think — to make HFoS to figure out what that different is.

7. Back to 'Shop Class as Soulcraft'. I'm really enjoying this book. I've only just started reading it, but I'm engrossed (I wish I had time to just sit and read it in one go). It's basically about the devaluing of manual labor in America, and about that thing I've been interested in — the separation of thinking and doing.

8. It has occurred to me that Graphic Design, as a thing — as a job, is actually a product of that separation. The 'Graphic Designer', quietly emerging in the 1950s, was essentially an early version of the 'knowledge worker'. Evolving into the Art Director, and then into Buchanan's Design Thinker. I think. This needs some research to back it up obviously.

9. I'm way too busy to be even considering getting involved in another publishing project. But it just seems to need to be done. Which is very much how I felt when setting up TNG. It just seemed to be needed to be done. And in hindsight I can see that it, The National Grid, has actually served quite some purpose... both personally and also more widely in a professional and academic sense. It was certainly worth doing. And I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't actually done it. So... HFoS.

10. I think I can say this officially now (like somehow me writing this here equates to officiality). Stuart Geddes is coming on board with this project, and we will be working on it together. I'm hoping to visit Stuart in Melbourne soon, to catch up and to figure out the how, when, why of making HFoS into a publication. At the moment the plan is that we might print half each (he has a risograph, or access to one, as well). And obviously we'll be co-editors. Welcome Stuart.

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