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Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby Azrehan » November 17th, 2016, 1:07 am

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I have been soul searching for a while and have come to the conclusion that I'm not doing enough with my hands. I design furniture as an industrial designer at work, and while I enjoy seeing my products released and being sold and made in our factory, it's a very hands off approach. Before becoming a designer I was an active musician (guitarist) but the time I spend on music has dwindled over the years as it invloves a lot of sitting and I guess my brain is often quite drained at work.

Have been wanting to start making my own things at home in the shed and am on my way to getting it properly sorted and my workbench completed so I can get into that.

I have been looking for other creative persuits though and have decided to try to make my own sourdough bread. I visited San Francisco in August and loved the artisan sourdough bread there. I also watched Michael Pollan's series "cooked" on netflix and have been reading "Tartine Bread" by Chad Robertson from Tartine bakery in SF.

I'm wondering if anyone else has obsessive non-design hobbies that they maybe apply their creativity and design mind to. Also, if anyone else feels this dissatisfaction with sitting and sketching/3D modelling/detail drawing all day and feels caged in. I don't think I'll ever quit design, but feel it's not giving me everything I want from life.

Now, to feed my starter and order more bread making equipment from Amazon...

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby iab » November 17th, 2016, 11:15 am


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I work in the medical industry and enjoy design & fabricating furniture. Maybe you could design and fabricate medical devices. ;)

I also sculpt. Most certainly a hack at that, but is a nice distraction.

Working the body definitely relaxes the mind. I ride a bicycle to that end. But I also find the history of bike racing interesting. So much so I have a credit on IMDB as an associate producer of a documentary about a long dead Italian racer. Top spot on my resume. :mrgreen:

Hopefully the bread-making will work for you. But if it doesn't, don't worry about any time or money invested, just move on to something else. I had tried a lot of things before the bike thing stuck.

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby KenoLeon » November 17th, 2016, 9:05 pm

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I am in a stage where time is precious, so I am very choosey of my extra curricular activities,in general I go in between programming,ID and Neuroscience-AI research for the bulk of my time. Sometimes they mix ( UI/UX for instance) but each one has enough variety to keep me entertained for ages. The remaining time is spent doing semi related projects, fashion/illustration/ art projects,writing fiction to name a few.

I've also think I got most of the crazy stuff I wanted to try out of the way ( cause I am poor, else I would probably be trying to colonize mars), a few extra curricular things I can remember getting into: Whitewater rafting/ kayaking, stage building for music festivals,freesbie golf ( harder than it sounds but not as crazy as ultimate), DJing, Piano, Guitar, (I have an ukulele I sometimes play for dramatic purposes ), fire dancing/ juggling, I ran a bar, a hotel, worked in coffee shops, trained dogs and was a tour guide ( in Hollywood out of all places), spent a ton of time playing videogames, pool, drinking,getting high etc,etc, most of these things I did mostly for the experience and some became obsessions.

In general I think I would die the day that I can't get excited about something ( I think designers are a curious lot), but I am conscious of where my main interests are and drop other novelty things as fast as I pick them, right now I am about to get into digital clay modeling and might have to relocate next year and who knows what I'll end up doing.
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Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby iab » November 18th, 2016, 8:37 am


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KenoLeon wrote:fire dancing/ juggling


Anything posted to the utubes?

Would love to see it.

This is my movie.


Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby yo » November 18th, 2016, 12:38 pm

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how about picking up a musical instrument?

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby CRVaughan » November 21st, 2016, 2:50 pm


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I say follow your interests with the bread thing! Maybe there's a reason your mind is being drawn to the subject. Exploring that will open new doors, or at the very least, provide you with some high-quality grub and a great smelling kitchen :)

For me, it's mushrooms. What started as a general curiosity has slowly grown into obsession. Photographing, growing, foraging, eating. I'm also pretty committed to rock climbing. The mental and physical focus it requires is a great workout and spiritually recharging. Either way, I think it's great to learn something new!

Here's a pic from the garden... nothing like fresh morels for breakfast!

IMG_1619_small.jpg

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby KenoLeon » November 21st, 2016, 5:17 pm

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iab wrote:
KenoLeon wrote:fire dancing/ juggling


Anything posted to the utubes?

Ehhh there are a couple,this is one the regional meetups a few years back,folks mostly in relaxed non performance mode, I think I am somewhere there ;)





One of the cool things I remember is that almost everyone made their own tools (fire sword, fire whip, fire nunchucks, fire staff etc,etc) , so if we go all Mad Max I am ready : )
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Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby Azrehan » November 21st, 2016, 5:29 pm

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CRVaughan wrote:I say follow your interests with the bread thing! Maybe there's a reason your mind is being drawn to the subject. Exploring that will open new doors, or at the very least, provide you with some high-quality grub and a great smelling kitchen :)

For me, it's mushrooms. What started as a general curiosity has slowly grown into obsession. Photographing, growing, foraging, eating. I'm also pretty committed to rock climbing. The mental and physical focus it requires is a great workout and spiritually recharging. Either way, I think it's great to learn something new!

Here's a pic from the garden... nothing like fresh morels for breakfast!

IMG_1619_small.jpg


Haha. I live in the Adelaide Hills in Australia and there are about 15 large radiata pines on our property so we get literally hundreds of pine mushrooms (saffron milk caps) every winter. We have a very limited amount of porcini in the Adelaide Hills too and I went looking for them in winter without any luck. Mushrooms are great.

The sourdough starter is kicking along nicely but I need a free weekend to do some baking. My combo cooker arrives in a few weeks... Exciting.

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby rkuchinsky » November 21st, 2016, 10:43 pm

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Run.

Not necessarily, creative, but challenging, requires good time management and strategy, gives you time to think and problem solve, great for goal oriented and stats driven OCD designers, and helps counter balance the hours wasted in the office sitting at a screen or in meetings.

I took up running 3 years ago to make a positive lifestyle change and improve my health (and I was designing running shoes without actually running in them).

This year I've racked up about 3,500km, only missed 1 day without running since January, did 5 marathons, 15 races in 5 countries and have no complaints about any weather. Plus I can eat almost anything and drink all the beer I want.

I know lots of runners who are creatives. A good balance between the physical and mental and i think very complimentary to design life. Plus, you can do it anywhere and any time, so fits studio life, business trips, odd consultant hours, and the midnight oil we designers tend to burn.



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Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby iab » November 22nd, 2016, 8:54 am


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KenoLeon wrote:Ehhh there are a couple,this is one the regional meetups a few years back,folks mostly in relaxed non performance mode, I think I am somewhere there ;)


Sweet!

The large crowd is something I never would have expected. I always assume other people's silly hobbies are like mine where it draws a few dozen people only.

Please note, the vintage bike thing is small in the US. Italy has an event with 6-7K people riding old bikes. France and Belgium would be the next in line for enthusiasts, but it drops off pretty quickly at that point.

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby iab » November 22nd, 2016, 9:00 am


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Azrehan wrote:The sourdough starter is kicking along nicely but I need a free weekend to do some baking. My combo cooker arrives in a few weeks... Exciting.


I subscribe to the tenet that good bread is hard/crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is quite difficult to find such an animal in the US. And I do love a good piece of bread, probably more so than Oprah. Unfortunately I do not have the patience or wherewithal to bake.

Do you plan on expanding into pizza dough?

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby singletrack » November 22nd, 2016, 11:51 am


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I have a few hobbies and passions I follow outside work. I do find this helps a lot with keeping a fresh mind at work. I enjoy fishing a great deal. It has some great aspects for the designer. Fly fishing holds a special place for me and it allows me to use my design skills to create different products for the sport. I tie flies and also make some different line configurations for fishing. It is practical and artistic so fits my thinking quite well. I have also gotten in to videography which has been great as a story telling media and for work. Also enjoy ridding bicycles it is a great way to free the mind and open your creativity.

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby slippyfish » November 22nd, 2016, 1:49 pm

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Have a kid. If you need more to do, have a second kid. Only halfway kidding. You know how therapeutic and enjoyable it can be to spend an hour drawing or building Lego or even Play-Doh with a kid?

Its kind of like a hobby, but it costs more, and you won't/can't get sick of it and change your mind.

I also like polishing individual bicycle cassette cogs to a shine, and repacking hub bearings.
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Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby FH13 » November 22nd, 2016, 4:29 pm


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Kids are great, but if you want zero time for your hobbies then have twins.
Once you have kids your hobby becomes developing your kids hobbies and truly learning about life to answer all the "why" questions.

Re: Non-design activities/obsessions

Postby Azrehan » November 22nd, 2016, 6:50 pm

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iab wrote:
Azrehan wrote:The sourdough starter is kicking along nicely but I need a free weekend to do some baking. My combo cooker arrives in a few weeks... Exciting.


I subscribe to the tenet that good bread is hard/crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is quite difficult to find such an animal in the US. And I do love a good piece of bread, probably more so than Oprah. Unfortunately I do not have the patience or wherewithal to bake.

Do you plan on expanding into pizza dough?


I agree. I have been reading a lot on a site called the perfect loaf which the author has adapted material from tartine bread which is on iBooks for $2.99 so its been great to have guides to follow. I'll definitely use the sourdough to make pizzas. I'm finding it hard to schedule in a bake session as I've got so much going on this time of year and you need a whole saturday at home and sunday morning to bake. I'll try to get a bake done on the second weekend of december.

Here's a pic of my starter... The rubber band was in line with the top of the starter when I fed it last night and this is what it looked like this morning. Lots of activity going on in there.
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