The Summer of 2015 was a busy one, it started off with exhibiting my work in London at New Designers, where I got to showcase my undergraduate project and meet some other great designers too. The convention was fun and I managed to get some great press out of it too including features on Disegno which was amazing and led to lots of other great features, with Co Design, PSFK, Daily Mail etc...
Once I finished up in London nothing was going on and I'd some money saved so I figured, I've never been to America, I've always wanted to go to America, why not go? So I booked a flight and flew to New York for 10 days. New York was fantastic, I was lucky enough to get there when the weather was perfect (in the 30's) and was staying in Brooklyn which was awesome! So here's a rundown of all my favourite things I did while I was out there.
My first adventure was a walk along the High Line, a park built upon a disused train line. The history behind it is quite lengthy but the story is (according to the tour guide) that the train line was built in response to all the deaths caused by the street-level trains used to ship freight. The elevated track linked to many warehouses to transport food-based goods. Long story short the trucking industry rendered the High Line near obsolete leaving it to become a bit of an eyesore to the residents of lower Manhattan. In 2011 the line was repurposed into an elevated park and a pretty beautiful one at that. Anyone visiting NYC should check it out, it spans for blocks and blocks, maintains some of the original tracks and provides you with a great view of the streets below!
The second adventure was a visit to littleBits, a fantastic company that produces their own 'Internet of Things' devices, the difference being theirs uses magnets and is based off the simple principle of closed circuitry. After finding out I'd used their products for my prototype they were kind enough to invite me to visit their headquarters in Chelsea and talk a little about my project. I couldn't take pictures so I'll just have to describe what I saw; the headquarters was awesome, it was super high up and you had a great view of the Hudson. Everyone there was really kind and their was definitely a community vibe, the funniest thing was seeing people rolling round the office on scooters which I thought was only a thing in movies like the intern (you know, where Anne Hathaway cycles through the office), turns out this actually happens in real life. I also got to see some really cool future products and the great facilities like their workshop, communal meeting spot etc.. it was really cool, definitely a place I'd love to work at and hopefully with all the great potential for IoT products I may get another crack at working with them!
In the middle of the trip I went to Boston for a weekend to visit one of my closest friends Danny but before I headed to Boston though I was fortunate enough to meet two incredibly talented designers anton & irene. These two are the most talented graphic and UI designers I've ever met. Everything they do is both beautifully and thoughtfully designed with a dash of humour to make it seem more human and fun! I'd found out they were speaking at a festival I was exhibiting at in Namur and realized I would miss their lecture, I really loved their work and ended up emailing them to say I was visiting the States and would love to learn more about what they do. The two kindly invited me to lunch which was delicious ( we had bbq ribs!) and we just sat and spoke about design in general and their own work/up coming projects. It was really great meeting the two of them, they're amazing and really humble and I actually bumped into them again since that lunch, in Namur and I hung out with Irene on her first trip to Edinburgh which was lots of fun. I hope to run into these two again in the near future!
Later in the week I was also super lucky to visit Yankee Stadium to see New York City Football Club of course, pffft the Yankees are so last year! This was actually really interesting, firstly because I got to see the inside of Yankee Stadium which is actually really cool! I'd never been in a baseball park before so that was fun but also watching a football match there was quite funny as the stadium is totally impractical for watching the sport due to it's diamond shape. Nevertheless the match was still really great, I'm not the biggest football fan but I was told there were a few famous players in the match so it was great fun watching them play!
Last but not least, my favourite part of the trip was Central Park. The park is the most amazing thing ever, it's ENORMOUS, I rented a bike for a few hours and cycled through it. When my rental time ran out I left thinking I'd made it through most of the park but learnt the next day on a helicopter ride that I'd maybe just about covered a third of it! Central is really beautiful, there's some really awesome scenic paths, a beautiful fountain, great playing fields and some nice lakes. It was truly an experience. Anyways if you made it this far, apologies and thank-you for reading hopefully as I continue to blog my journeys these posts will become shorter and a little more bearable to read. I had so much fun on this trip seeing old friends and making new ones, I really hope I get to visit again. I'll end this by quoting one of my favourite musicians, James Murphy by saying: "New York, I love you..." thanks for having me.
Oh and! Check out this video I made using all the footage I capture from the trip to see all the other things I didn't mention in the post!