|Two big things are happening right now:|
1. I received a call to ask if I could return back to work next week.
2. An entire class of students are graduating in quarantine or returning back to school remotely in the FallI also believe we/they have the biggest potential to make a difference than any year before.
As for the students, their job prospects are low and they’ve likely already returned home to spaces they don’t want to go back.
What I’m about to say could be misconstrued to at once relinquish all their hard work. It’s also coming after I sat on a wonderful undergraduate architecture review at RISD last week where I was able to give feedback to very talented students whose diligent work showed in each of their presentations. But it’s also not a novel idea.
My advice: Do the minimum work you can get away with in your classes or studios to pass and use every spare moment you can find to start making NOW!
School is only so useful. Grad school is unnecessary. Make friends with your peers and professors. Do what you need to get B’s and then have fun making stuff. There I said it.
Making stuff is where redesigns, compromises, prototypes, estimates, material resourcing and the most exciting education is learned. Make anything you can. Use your hands. Take tours of manufacturing plants online. Get onto construction sites if possible and create your own also if possible. Print real products on those 3D printers that have the potential to mass market even if they’re rudimentary and already have been done. Craft. Open an Etsy, Amazon, EBay, Shopify account and start a side hustle. Build full scale mocks-up or even better, final projects that are within your means and space constraints the best you can. Let what you make be ugly. And fail as much as possible. Your mom will love you no matter and who cares that you can’t see the boyfriend you’ve secretly kept from them. Australia is way too far a commute and it’s just not in the cards this year…but I digress.
I was taught none of that at U of M or Rice. I had an ego that was too big and was way too good at analysis and arguments. Too heady and not enough self love and connection to my body. I’m now at once falling in love with manufacturing and DIY. Their marriage is our future and holds a huge potential for community, financial and spiritual success. I won’t write more on that cause I could go on for way too long, wake up and keep going. But I will if you ever want to get into it together on the side!
This week I’m excited to celebrate those who emblemize this collaborative, making pathway today and those who have exemplified it in the ‘past’ with videos and pics on IG @neonfabricationsincluding:
- Yarn, weaving, knitting and fabric mass manufacturing
- Facility by Nick Cave and Bob Faust in Chicago
- The Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend
- Black Mountain College
- Our UAP workshop
- Sunflower Seeds by Ai Weiwei
- Domestika, Skillshare and other online DIY communities
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
– Theodore Roosevelt