Hi everyone, I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Nicole, I recently joined the MSS family as your friendly desk concierge and will be in a few days out of the week. When I’m not at Makeshift I enjoy exploring the city, as I am new to it, along with spending time with my cats, dog, and guinea pig. I look forward to meeting all of our members and hope to catch you on your days in the office.
Last week, as part of our ongoing collaboration with Typekit, we kept the lights on late and invited the typography nerds of New York to come hang out, have a bite to eat, and get some work done. Members of Adobe’s Typekit, Behance, and Creative Cloud teams spent the evening chatting with people about the various products, answering questions, and sharing tips.
HOW Design sat down with Rena & Bryan to discuss what separates Makeshift Society from other coworking spaces.
“Makeshifters don’t have to be any one kind of person, but they have to recognize that fact in themselves and in others. Sometimes you just need to do your own work quietly. Other times you need to bug your tablemate and ask for their opinion. And occasionally, you just need to fetch coffee with someone or share your power adapter or watch a cat video. Every day at Makeshift is different and an ideal member enjoys that.” – Rena Tom
Thanks HOW Design!
One of the central rituals in the education of a designer is the “crit”, the critique. It’s something that happens almost exclusively in design fields, and it goes like this: you do some work, you pin it on the wall for everyone to see, stand up in front of your peers and professors, explain why and what you did, and a discussion ensues. When done well this can be a fantastic, discursive, illustrative way to learn, for the presenter and everyone else.
But a funny thing happens after you finish school. The crits often disappear too. If you work inside a large office, similar group discussions sometimes happen, but for freelancers and small teams the working discussions are often less frequent and harder to come by. We wanted to change that.
A week ago we welcomed 50-some people for the second of four events with Typekit, and this one was organized as a crit night. We gathered together a group of fantastic designers (more on that in a second) and asked them to each bring a project to share. Their fellow presenters and the audience all gave feedback and asked questions.
James Victore showed a poster and book he did for an exhibition called Pop-up. Someone suggested that the cover looks like shit, but eventually the rancor settled into a debate on the nuance that separates “childish” from “childlike”. Good stuff.
Rob Wilson, a brave soul who raised his hand to show his work publicly in front of his peers, showed a multi-piece project celebrating rotkhol (red cabbage). After some discussion about whether the poster, a part of Robert’s project, was working well or not, Ellen defended posters as a grad school conceit. “It’s a place to put your brain.” And your cabbage, in Rob’s case.
Bonnie Siegler showed her studio’s design for the rebranding for the Brooklyn Public Library including, importantly, two options that were not selected.
Ellen Lupton kept things moving at a steady clip as our able moderator. A huge thanks to her for gamely taking on the challenge of threading a structure through a conversation as meandering and lively as this.
(Originally Jason Santa Maria was going to be there too, but he was not able to make it).
“Your goal is to get paid to be Martin.”
If this sounds like fun, please consider joining us Tuesday, October 14th for the next Typekit event, a night of typography and tacos where Makeshift will be open late and we’ll be joined by members of the Behance, Creative Cloud, and Typekit teams to help people out with their projects. Also: tacos.