Traveling And Designing
As one dream ends, another begins. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to have lived and worked in San Francisco for a little longer than a year. I’ve learned so much. As I met new designers, I made new friends. I will be missing them dearly as I am about to open a new chapter in my life. I will be traveling around the world, starting in South East Asia. I will be absorbing cultures like a sponge and I will seek those inspirations to influence my design.
Designing In Various Forms
To me, design doesn’t only apply to user interfaces. When I brew my tea bought from Samovar, or shoot photos with my Canon Mark II, or try at Latte art, I apply the same standards that I hold for making delightful designs. Excellence in ordinary things that I practice every day. Design is all about taste. In order to understand the subtle nuances, you must have tasted a great deal. You must breath design.
Laos And Cambodia
My girlfriend and I were born in Laos and Cambodia respectively until the tender age of 7 & 8. This will be our first trip back to our countries of birth. I will be visiting the temple of Angkor Wat located in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the city of Vientiane, Laos. From the tales of my mother who had lived during the war, Cambodia is a very spiritual place with thousands of years of history.
China and South Korea
I’m attracted to these 2 countries for their advances in technology, fashion and mass production. Our family is also from China and most of us (not me) speak Chinese fluently. The cities I will be visiting are Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul and possibly the Jeju island.
This is the ultimate destination. Ever since I was young, I was deeply influenced by the Japanese culture. Starting with their highly creative Manga/Anime series all the way to their fun gaming culture (Nintendo), tasty food (Sushi, Ramen), sophisticated way of living, tea ceremony, beautiful cherry blossoms, natural hot springs… There is so much to learn from the Japanese culture.
Japan is also the country with the highest life expectancy, with Okinawa having 5 times more people living to be a 100 years old than the rest of Japan. About 3 years ago, I started paying attention to my diet and I definitely took a lot of inspiration from the Okinawan and Mediterranean diet. Having great sleep habits and a good diet, I noticed, was key to staying focused and unstressed.
Steve Jobs famously studied Zen Buddism.
- Jobs believed that Zen meditation taught him to concentrate and ignore distractions: “He also learned to trust intuition and curiosity—what Buddhists call ‘beginner’s mind’—over analysis and preconceptions. More visibly, Apple’s sleek, minimalist designs reveal Jobs’s zeal for Zen aesthetics—the uncluttered lines of calligraphy and Japanese gardens, according to Isaacson’s book.”
If you haven’t read Steve Jobs’s biography by Walter Isaacson, you should. It will inspire you.
San Francisco, Maybe
I have lived in Montreal, Canada for 2 decades. While I owe everything to that country, being an immigrant from Cambodia, I never truly fulfilled my dream of working on something impactful to the world. In San Francisco, you are surrounded by like-minded craftsmen who are passionate about technology. The culture is extremely laid back and the majority of the startups here treat their designers and engineers like gold. People here pushes way beyond the status quo. In fact, having no degree and being completely self-taught, I would never have made it here if it wasn’t for Heyzap, who succeeded in bringing me here where so many have failed. Better yet, thanks to them, I am currently applying for a more permanent VISA. If things go smoothly, I will be back in San Francisco after my travels.