I’m realizing that if I don’t sit down every evening and write down what I did that day, I forget. Right now, we’re spending every morning in class, and every afternoon on a field trip. So much walking, and I’m so tired by the time I get back to the room, that I just sort of want to sit for a little bit. So far, email has successfully prevented afternoon laziness, however.
On Sunday evening, I started reading the book for week two. It’s called In The Bubble, and basically talks about how businesses of the future are using more people, not less, like the theorists predicted the technology age would. It’s tying in sustainability, in a big way, and so far has suggested more communal living environments, which I hesitate to agree with. I like my space, my individuality and my ability to express that. Still, it makes you think.
In class, we talked about how Japanese teens are extremely early adopters of trends, and that many forcasters look at the Japanese culture for insight on what’s going to be hot next. We also discussed the shopping experience as a “cultural ritual”–an experience that we in the US consider common, would be out of place in another context.
We went to the Museum of Modern Art for the afternoon, and viewed some modern art, which some of my classmates agreed was hard to understand. Pieces of folded and torn paper as art seemed a bit odd. There was a photography exhibit, with a piece by Ansel Adams–it’s neat to be able to see those kind of things in person. There were some massive, building sized sculptures that housed mazes that made you feel like you were walking tilted through them. Made me feel sort of uneasy; I don’t like to walk crooked, apparently. Also, they had a fabulous furniture exhibit, with all sorts of chairs like I studied in interior design–the Barcelona, etc.
After that, our teacher was requiring us to go hear Joel Towers, an architect, speak. They dimmed the lights and I had such a hard time staying awake. He spoke on the subject of sustainable architecture, which really is fascinating (again, studied that in undergrad). Did you know that NYC is techinically below sea level, and insurance companies are predicting that what happened in New Orleans could happen here, sometime in the next 10 years? Scary.
Anyway, Tuesday has been a bit more interesting. After a rowsing discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of this “communal living” theory and why torn pieces of paper can be considered modern art (they were advanced for their time), we had lunch and then headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Skip MOMA–the Met is my cup of tea. ENTIRELY. There was a special exhibit on the fashion design of Poiret. A contemporary of Coco Chanel, he considered himself and artist, and after World War I, when Chanel was bowing to the demands of the “little black dress”, Poiret stayed true to his artistic bent. He is now considered the King of Fashion, as his work helped define modern dress as we know it, long before Chanel started producing “sports wear”. It literally took me 2 hours to walk through that exhibit, and I took delicious notes on the entire thing. Poiret actually introduced a line of perfume and home furnishings, making his commercial business the first one to ever market to “lifestyle”. Completely fascinating. And very belle epoque, as my Russian-who-lives-in-London-flatmate declared. And so very Great Gatsby.
I’m tired to death of salads from Whole Foods and PB&J.; I’m going to try to find a small cafe somewhere and have something Italian for dinner. And maybe walk down to Soho to gaze longingly through the windows of the kate spade flagship store.