Saturday, August 20, 2005


I knew it was going to be hard to find enough time to write, but not this hard. Trouble is that I moved to a small room with no phone or internet line... and Raul's office isn't ready yet. So my only chances to post something are when I am here at ITESM.

Finally... here are the pictures of the Disney music hall... or Opera House, or whatever the governator wishes to call it. It was exhausting... I stayed 8 hours in L.A. and the good people from some intelligence office took the not so intelligent decision to remove all lockers for storage. So, there I was, with winter jacket (remember it's now middle of winter in NZ) and a backpack full of items. I took the shuttle bus to the metro station... the bus was supposed to pass every 20 min, but it took 40 min. Anyway... the blue line metro makes almost 40 min, then change, then other 20 min, then walk, then just 30 min to have a look at the building, wander a bit inside and get back to the airport just in time for all the routine checks before boarding the next plane.

Something interesting though, was that on both trips all passengers started to chat with each other... I mean, they were complete strangers, but started a conversation as if they knew each other. NICE! if you are going to be stuck on a train for 3/4 of an hour, well, don't be so uptight and chat! It started with a young boy that picked a mexican-goth-pierced-girl (quite good looking by the way) he started talking about music and rock bands, then someone jumped into the conversation, and minutes later it was half the wagon (it was not full, so everyone could turn around and see each other) or at least 8 to 10 complete strangers were talking politics and music, ethnical roots, etc.

Now to my arrival to Mexico. Like I said, I crushed first at my parent's house in Santa Anita, but the traffic is just impossible nowadays! So, I moved to a room, right in the middle of my usual trips. The first week here was crazy: rearranging the course programme with the other lecturers, taking my parent's car to all sorts of workshops (it hasn't been in use for almost a year and it was dangerous to ride with almost no brakes)... then also meeting some of my friends and relatives, etc. etc. Have a look at the pictures on Yahoo!

We were lucky that there was a ReHab trade fair last weekend. We went a couple of times and met with several institutions and distributors to promote our designs. I was supposed to make several changes and adaptations based on that feedback, but then I catched a terrible flu... just in dime whed I was boving out. So, I couldn't rest at all.

Tuesday we met here at Itesm with Moira and Andrew from Unitec (New Zealand). I didn't think that the school of design (or product design) was going to change their mind about promoting a relationship with Monterrey's tech, after they told me that both design philosophies are too much different and was not unitec's best interest to further promote any sort of projects. Well, nothing is written on stone forever... or like they always quote : "never say never" Thing is if Itesm's design schools will still be interested after Unitec's rejection last year. Like Cuco Sanchez said: "la chancla que yo tiro, no la vuelvo a levantar".

I am quite happy to be back lecturing... or teaching... perhaps better said : "disorienting students". It always takes time for them to adjust to my way of discussing design issues with them. They are always shy the first couple of weeks. This time I have a very good feeling about their potential as designers. They are still at foundation studies, but they all have that inquisitive look necessary to develop design skills. It's going to be a great semester!

As usual, we started with the discussion on kitsch. I was amazed that 2 or 3 of them presented the viceversa knife holder -link- as example of good design... Maybe it's like I said before, some famous designers sometimes fall into kitsch inevitabilly. Kitschingitis is like catching the flu... you'll always get it once or twice a year! Alejandro (another lecturer) gave me some very interesting articles on kitsch... let me see if I can find online versions of those.

For their second exercise, they have to analyse the spatial and composition elements of a product. Last tuesday, they all brought the actual product to discuss and compare those elements. Blanca brought the panasonic r-72 radio... a real design classic! She also brought an original Kodak brownie camera... another classic! It was a good thing that she was already inclined to do the radio because it would have been a tough decision!

We are going to review many basic aspects of design composition and spatial arrangement, so I guess I'll use the opportunity to review some of those ideas here too... if i get the time to do so. I hardly have time even to check my mail or chat with Sandra, but it seems that it's all getting steady now.

hasta luego
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