Enter the C’s

November 30, 2011

A few months ago, I made the leap. I lept from the land of hav­ing a cor­po­rate job to the vil­lage of “I want to run my own com­pany.” The leap itself wasn’t hard. Getting to the edge before I made the jump was excruciating.

Was I mak­ing the right deci­sion? What is it that I want, any­way? Who am I? What is a designer? All the deep, soul prob­ing ques­tions that slowly stir in your head at 4am made my trek to the brink one that was coated in a foot of sticky mud.

I let myself stew. The syn­the­sis por­tion of the design process as a cue, I allowed all of my thoughts to tum­ble and boil, know­ing that the moment of clar­ity would come when it was ready. On a Thursday evening at the Sheung Wan branch of Café O in Hong Kong, under­stand­ing arrived.

With a new note­book I’d picked up in Japan and my favorite Muji pen, I began writ­ing future state­ments about myself. “I am a pro­fes­sor.” “I have my own line of sneak­ers.” “I work with the smartest peo­ple.” “I have enough money to travel for inspi­ra­tion.” I wrote about forty of these sen­tences, then started orga­niz­ing. My state­ments fell into six dif­fer­ent groups: Create, Curate, Convey, Connect, Complete, and Comfort. It didn’t hurt that both of my ini­tials start with C too.

I took my C’s and started think­ing about how they related to each other, and ended up real­iz­ing that I wanted to fill my time work­ing towards Create, Curate, and Convey. Connect was the glue, and Complete was what I wanted each project to reach. Comfort was my end goal for the whole project.

The C’s are work­ing for me so far. In my few months on my own I’ve been pur­su­ing activ­i­ties in each bucket, and have recently launched a com­pany, Parallel Design Labs. As a promo video for our point of view as a com­pany, I made a short movie that shows how we use the C’s in practice.

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