Galaxy Table – and other d.school delights

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Last Friday, I had the chance to visit Stanford’s d.school, the non-degree-granting, design-thinking-teaching brainchild of IDEO founder, David Kelly. Roughly 50% late for the tour, I raced into the “Prototyping Lab” and braced myself against the table below. 

My initial reaction: this table is beautiful. I loved the details of lines at odd angles and swaths of pale color. It took me a little while to realize that it was “just a work table,” and the beauty I saw was the equivalent of sawdust in a carpenter’s workshop.

Does that matter? I’m not sure – never sure about this sort of thing. But I like it enough to share it, what I call the Galaxy Table.

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Here’s a closer shot. The woman whose hand you see got self conscious. She moved her hand a split second after the shot. I felt smugly satisfied that I got her hand. šŸ™‚

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And the tour rolls on. I’ve calmed down a bit from speed walking through Stanford. 

Check out these baller rolling whiteboard doors. I want them in my house. The paper fireplace is a nice touch. Meanwhile, wondering what all these (other) kids are doing on the tour.

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Colors and feelings! This is HUGE. I’ve only recently begun to notice how much color affects my state from moment to moment. It took waking up in a bright blue sleeping bag unusually happy to notice. When I walked into the Green Room, I felt instantly energetic and at peace, an utterly pleasant feeling in a creative space like the d.school.

Notably, this shade of green was my favorite color when I was 5. It was the color of my toothbrush and my stuffed dinosaur, Diney. I miss Diney. When I paint my walls green, or bring this color into my everday life in other ways, which I must do, I will pay tribute to Diney.

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Sadly, my camera’s phone did not capture the shade of green. I aimed to get a better sense in the below photo, especially next to the white. Still – nope. I’ll have to get a paint chip from this room some other time.

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Finally, is the key to love: surprise? I’ve often thought this in terms of beauty. If everyone looked the same, no one would be beautiful. If there were no light, there would be no shadow, no darkness. We only notice things when they vary from what we’re used to. And when we shake that up, for better (appreciation) or worse (disgust), we take notice.

From room to room, the d.school surprised me. Ending my tour in the ladies’ restroom, I felt my heart warm at the almost tacky disco princess theme. This surprised me. And the d.school I loved. Always be willing to offend, I remind myself, to create something beautiful.

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