Sandy

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Mom would never approve of this: sanding and finishing the box in no whee else, but my own bedroom. It left a little mess, but nothing a clean up party wouldn’t fix. So now my boxes are semi-finished. They are puttied, sanded, and moveable. Next thing to think about and tackle are those designs…will they make it on there or not?

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Not thesis

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There was little time for thesis today because of a few other projects that needed attention. This is just one of them, a mini-lesson for children to cut, fold, and build their own paper house to light up. Just a small lesson in basic circuitry.

Sewing circle

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Spent the day working on a big bag. So big, I fit inside of it! It’s going to hold my mobile dinner experience and protect it from the city.

Spring Break?

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After a busy and productive spring “break” at home on Maui, I got back to New York, thesis in a box and ready to be made. Since then, I’ve been battling jet lag, some other thesis projects, and putting off writing.

I am feeling pressured since its now April 2, and there are only a few more weeks before we start installing the show. Today I did more research at the NYU Bobst library but I still feel there is more to do.

I’m going to make a big effort to post everyday to my thesis blog, along with my personal blog for the next two months until it is over. I’ve been very off-and-on this past semester, but it’s almost over so I’m gonna make it count! Ready or not, here we go.

ReSEARCH

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On the quest for the perfect way to add some details to the outside of the final boxes. Now that I’m back at home in Maui for spring break, I found myself at my high school art room getting advice from my former art teacher. Paper stencils? Silk screen? Not sure yet.

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What I am sure of is that I am united with my paulownia (kiri) wood planks that I ordered from Jeremy at Papa Kai Hawaii. I have been in contact with him for the last week and got planks ordered and shipped to Hawaii with excellent customer service. I plan to get everything prepped at home so I can bring it back to New York with me. This project is truly becoming something that mixes my new surroundings with my old.

Heritage: Dinner with friends

Over winter break I went back home to Maui and it was the perfect opportunity to share my thesis with my friends.  Throughout the semester I was able to think about and have informal dinners with friends in New York, but I really wanted to have a dinner with those people who have been in my life for a long time.

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These friends in the video have been a part of my life since I was age 10.  They were the first friends I made when I moved to a middle school that was outside of my district and they have remained and became some of the best friends I have ever had.

As we all moved away for college, and now are all on different post graduate paths, we rarely have a chance to get together.  The holidays brought us all home, and my thesis brought us all together.

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The planning for this started before I got home. My friend Marisa first initiated a get together since we would be home for the holidays.  I thought, what a perfect opportunity to also experiment for my thesis. Enlisting the help of  my friend Ali to host a dinner party at her house, we made a plan to not tell anyone this was also for my project.

As part of my past, I also brought the table to dinner. I took our kitchen table from home and had another friend haul it over up to our dinner site.  This was the table we used at our home for over 30 years, so I couldn’t imagine not having this dinner on that table as well.  I extended the leaves to its largest configuration (something we rarely do at home), to accommodate the large group.

I enforced the rule of no phones at the table by having everyone put it in a box.  The uninterrupted time together was probably one of the  most enjoyable times I had with them in a long time. Although we have not seen each other in a long time, when we get together, it’s like we were never separated.

It was interesting to see different people’s reactions to having a cellphone-free dinner.  Some people were down for it, and others questioned, but everyone participated.  They were great sports and overall the dinner was fun.  I didn’t think about not having my phone with me, but rather focused on the people at the table.  Without a phone in my pocket, there was no temptation to pick it up and look at it.

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At the end of the night, everyone got their phone back after they filled out a short survey for me about their experience.  They wrote on the placemats that I placed on the table. I also gave my friends a pre-addressed and stamped envelope with a card in it.  This was for them to take with them as a reminder of our dinner, and as a favor to me.  I asked them to do this again with other friends, or maybe even one another, and write to me about their experience.  This is one way they can help me share this family dinner ritual with others.

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Left to Right: Top Row: Jennifer Matsumoto, Marisa Watanabe, Ali McKeon, Bree-Ann Tamaye, Nicole Miyahira, Erin Ichimura, Kaitlen Miyajima Bottom Row: Marni Tabata, Derek Hondo, Claire Fukuoka

Overall, I was very pleased with this intervention.  What started off as a gathering of friends who have been away for a while, turned into a memory that we will all share for a lifetime. Not just because I have all the documentation to prove it, but because the stories, moments, and conversation shared around the table will have an unforgettable memory.

Model 2.0 + Conversations with Claudia

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The model is slowly starting to look like what I imagine it will be in half-sized form! Both ends open up like a drop leaf table. I am starting to like it and seeing the potential for other sections on the inside.

I also had a talk to Claudia today. Professor of another class I have but also a DT alum. I just wanted to get another perspective on my direction. She brought up some good comments. Like… How will I exhibit this? How to document the dinners? Is it all about the conversations and if so, how can they be replayed in the exhibition setting? Is it a constant replay of the recordings? How do we determine what gets eaten and are there other ways to preserve the “artifacts” from dinner besides just the sound and video? Or will that just get dirty and gross?

Overall, a good list of things to think about. As I prep for desk crits tomorrow, there will definitely be more to discuss and reconsider.

Making a model

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Spent the night working on model for my mobile dinner table. I want to get different hinges that will lock in place but for now I have some miniature versions. There will also be components for people to place their cellphone and to hold the food I take to the dinners.