Monday, October 1, 2012

Designed to spend money

There are certain moments in life where you just know you're going to spend enormous amounts of money. Your wedding, your own funeral (if you're not a bastard and make someone else pay for it), perhaps a special birthday or graduation here or there, depending how baller you are. There are just those special occasions where it seems necessary to blow exceptionally large wads of cash.

As it happens I was up against a mini-version of one such occasion a weekend or so ago - something that, as far as I've understood, only comes around once or so a year, if that. The Helsinki Design Market.

Now, understand that before I moved to Finland I would have scoffed at an event like this. Design Market? Pfff, what a bunch of pretentious nutters, ooing and ahhing over their overpriced designs!

...Oddly this has changed. And it's not because I'm an idiot and have decided to change teams because arrogance called to me like that one dessert in the case you just couldn't ignore while you were on that one turnip soup diet.

This is the appropriate time to explain the difference between Designers and designers.

Designers - people who work in particular aspects of design, usually the highly visual side of design such as colors, materials, graphics, sound, etc. These people usually dress according to a strange rule of thumb that fashion magazines seem to recognize based on runway shows and the outer edges of strange and usually take themselves extremely seriously. Humor is not particularly abound in these people. They usually wear glasses. Really cool glasses. And they're oddly good-looking. Oh, and things that are associated with them are usually expensive. They flock together but like to be singular. They talk about serious things all the time and love to be "in the know."

designers - people who work in more user-oriented aspects of design, such as usability, user experience, interaction design, interfaces (though this one is debatable), etc. These people usually dress like normal people (i.e. comfortable and all over the spectrum). Humor can be part of their personalities but they're usually pretty open, because interacting with people is part of their jobs. They don't typically wear glasses, though they can. The things they own they use. For real. And they like them, because they enrich their lives and connect them with other people. They usually have real groups of friends that go and do social things. They are people you actually know in real life.

Such is the difference between Designers and designers. The Design Market is definitely an event organized by Designers, selling things by Designers, for designers and common people.

Clearly this was a place I was going to spend money, being a designer (no big D for me). Sigh, yes, it's true. I am one of those people who is strangely in awe with the Designers, but who doesn't hide disdain for them. It's a double-standard, I know.

Anyway, so I went to the Design Market with glee, knowing that I could also get a leg up on holiday shopping (something I've been increasingly slipping on over the years) while also fulfilling my love of shopping in general (something I can't do here with glee because everything is so damn expensive).

So, I went. And I bought.


Admittedly I was so involved with looking at everything I failed to record almost anything, so this is the only picture you're going to get from me regarding this, but take heart, it was lovely. And money flowed and gifts were bought and all was mirthful.

And finally I am not that failure at holiday shopping. Finally. I'm still far from done, but at least this year I can say that I actually started before Thanksgiving (something I was painfully aware of failing at last year).

I was so in love with this market that I went both days of the weekend (something that was completely unnecessary given that the market was only two rooms...large rooms, but still only two rooms nonetheless).

Whatever, design glory, you are and were, totally mine (and a few others, you lucky lucky people).

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