Monday, April 8, 2019

Interpol, Gender Representation & Kanazawa College of Art

Weekly Update 2019-15: Garage rock revival at its best with classic Interpol, examining the gender representation in my industry and the graduation ceremony at Kanawaza College of Art.

Manhattan-based band Interpol has been such a pivotal band in my life, easily one of my top ten. From their emergence in the early 2000s garage rock revival scene, having carried me through my high school years and beyond, I can never seem to get away from their haunting lyrics and yearning, slow melodies.

To know their music is to know a very specific time in my life when I discovered that music could affect me so deeply on a personal level. And I don't think I'm alone in this feeling; the alternative/garage rock scene of this time is deeply beloved and recorded in various forms online.

Please start with 2002's Turn On The Bright Lights and work forwards. I'm doing exactly that, learning every song on drums.

I have been meaning to dig my teeth into the original garage rock scene of the 90s, starting with the Breeders and working backwards. Maybe that'll be next...

I managed to get in two evenings of drumming last week, which was really nice considering I now have a visual reminder that my days of playing the kit after work are numbered. The room with the drum kit is now home to a slew of new cubicle desks, reminding me that the room will soon be filled with salespeople (who tend to work late nights). I imagine the kit will be moved somewhere else, but I can't imagine I may be coming in on weekends to play instead. With the weather changing, I'm sure I could work a visit to the beach into it somehow so it sounds like quite a nice way to spend a day.

Larissa has asked me to design her Save The Date cards, so I'll be taking a stab at that project this week. She gave me some cute examples, especially ones with a sort of diagram/infographic about the couple.

Though I think I'll stick with a simpler design. Here's my first stab. 

Teal is such a great wedding colour. I don't care if it's overdone.

This Thursday marks the start of my third semester with BrainStation. Brit and I have already worked out our teaching schedules; I'll be giving her a week to lead while I'm in California and she gets her quarterly work trip to Boston. Things are starting off a bit more synchronized this time and I hope we can continue it into the new semester.

Random Thought:
Brit and I were having patio beers (first of the season!) and discussing our experiences of the gender balance in the UX design/product industry. I have worked alongside many great female-identifying designers, notably the whiz-kid Kate at Excalibur and the talented Elysia at Tag. They're the first in a long line of talented women I know, but I haven't yet had the luck to say the same of a design manager or creative director. Having graduated from a class of 90 women and ten men, I know the tides are turning, but I just haven't seen it in the workplaces I've been.

Which just makes me realize that design management could be a real track for me. At least professionally, I feel adept at organizing people, facilitation and addressing individual needs. Most importantly, I feel more and more like I have a voice of value in my organization. I have seen female designers as well as women in general have their ideas shot down or ignored, which could be part of the reason men rise so much more easily into leadership roles. I don't want to fall into such a rut; I want to become an example for the designers who come after me.

Inspiration: Kanazawa College Of Art
Graduation celebrations are generally a drab affair, from what I'm told. All the grumblings of friends who have completed their university journeys before mine have said the same: you sit in a hot sweaty room for a few hours until your name is called, sit a few more hours, take some photos and go home.

Not to mention those terrible gowns graduates are made to wear, though the mortarboards are pretty interesting in both form and name.

In Japan, Kanazawa College of Art takes a slightly different approach to the graduation dress code - one I believe to be much more fitting as a culmination of a student's educational journey, and just plain more fun.

There's even a Waldo!

Considering this is a school of art and design, why not allow the students to continually express their creativity and personality in everything they do? Not to mention it makes the photo-taking part much more joyful to me.

I have been piecing together a cosplay for Anime North in May, and I think all the costumes and visual self-expressions are really wholesome and fun. It's also just always been a huge passion of mine to play dress-up. 

If my university had allowed this kind of thing, I would have attended graduation for SURE!

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