Weeknotes Week 039

Is it really december already?

This week we learned the true cost of a long trip. It takes at least a week to catch up on everything that you put off because you were on the road. The accumulation of missed emails, the necessity of thank yous and greetings to everyone you met on your travels, the processing of a huge pile of receipts (47 expense reports!) ... this adds up to another week that disappears from the calendar.

Adriel and Ezra are in full swing on their challenge brief documents. Looks like we were ever-so-slightly ambitious in our original mid-December timeline, but they're still going gangbusters and are developing some great material. Like any research or fact-finding process, we're coming to realize that it will be important to have a resting period where we can collectively let the material soak in before going in for another round of edits and revisions. So we'll get the briefs to draft by mid december and then pick them up again in the middle of January after we've had a chance to get some more eyes on the content.

Off in Barcelona, TwoPoints is nearing completion on the design of the Helsinki Design Lab visual identity system. We've sent out some draft material to the printer for a quote on papers and envelopes and all those necessities of business. Meanwhile we've started working with the templates internally to format our documents in a coherent manner. Some kinks still, but one last round of revisions is ironing those out nicely. It's weird to see this thing that has been such a homegrown project start to grow up a little. The first time I printed off our one page description of HDL with the official template was a nice moment in the office. It's a simple milestone.

Work on the website is underway as well. We signed off on the spec from XOXCO which means they'll be in wireframes and schemas soon. We owe them a draft of the HDL case study format which I have been woefully behind on completing. Sorry guys!

Even though it's strange to work on the weekend in Finland, yesterday we were on the phone with Helen, a talented and adventurous designer/filmmaker based in the US. She'll be off to Bangalore in February to spend a few months with Poonam Bir Kasturi and the Daily Dump team helping them tell the story of their work through a documentary film. It's a twofold job we've asked Helen to do: make a film but also spend a couple months working with the Daily Dump as a team member. Construction and reflection. HDL is a big fan of the work that the Daily Dump is up to and we're excited to be able to support them.

Speaking of which, this week Marco has been starting a few conversations with people who may be able to help us support more projects in the future. Not much to say about this at the moment, only that it's something we would like to be able to do.

We dipped into architecture and did a tiny bit of work on our physical space as well. Just as we approved the design for a renovation to our little corner of the Sitra offices we've been relocated to another floor. Friday was spent furiously sketching out some new layouts in order to get the furniture order out before the holiday. Priority #1: vast whiteboards.

And one final but important note that I forgot from last week's update. While I was away Minna and Marco visited Juhani Pallasmaa at his home to interview him on tape. Juhani was one of the initiators of the predecessor event to Helsinki Design Lab (we're calling it HDL 1968) and his interview is one in a series that we're doing with the original crew. It's fascinating material and we'll post bits of it here once this video project is wrapped up.

Lots of moving parts around here; doing our best to keep them all organized and operational.

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