5 years ago I participated in an event called Palomar5. An event that changed my life. Reflecting on it’s impact led me to consider what the common thread has been throughout my diverse projects. Palomar5 created a safe space that enabled participants to explore what projects motivated them. What excited me most about this space was the permission given to change – ourselves, the process and the space itself. The alumni of this project have gone onto achieve many great things and occupy influential positions. It’s not my place to attribute the influence of P5 on their path, but I know that many of them recognise the importance of this experience.
My desire to get back to this type of space, led me to co-found Open Design City with Chris Doering (another P5er), and a host of other makers. I likewise chaordinated many makerlab events – temporary autonomous spaces for making and collaboration. With the Talk to Me Bubbles, I have hacked spaces to create greater interaction and intimacy. In Egypt, I’ve worked with communities to create their own spaces for development. Even when playing devil’s advocate, I have created spaces for discussion through provocation. Spaces are important, gaps are important. In our rush to fill the world with content, we need to create room for ourselves. Undefined spaces set us free.
I’ve come to realise the product we’ve been working on for the last 2 years is likewise a space. A portable space around which people can gather and share their ideas. A whiteboard that you can carry with you. A blank space that allows you to create without distraction. Through this product I hope that we can distribute spaces to share, to engage and better know each other. A space to connect with yourself and the world.
Finally I know what I do ;).