Design

A sign of satisfaction from Stefan Sagmeister

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While the world economy twists itself into a tangle, one of our favorite designers and TED speakers, Stefan Sagmeister, is spending more human time in beautiful Indonesia. He just sent me this delightful story …

As my village neither possesses proper street names nor numbers, I was sitting at 6:00am today on the couch in the open living room trying to think of a sign for my house so that visitors would find it easier. I go out to the small alley to take a picture of the entrance in order to be able to draw a little sketch. The next-door neighbor who runs a tattoo shop from his house asks what I am doing. I explain I want to make a sign and that the manager suggested mounting it to the electric pole on my property.

As the pole is partially obstructed by shrubs, my neighbor offers up his own land for the sign, indicating he’d like a little something for it.

“How make sign? Metal? Wood? Stone?” “I’m not sure yet.”
“Have friend, makes beautiful stone carver?” “Sure!”
“When visit?” “I don’t know…” “Now, time?” “Now … it’s 6:00am!”
“No problem.”

We take my scooter, drive 10 minutes to the stonemason’s house in the stonemason’s village, wake him up, his wife brews extra-sweet Bali Coffee and we drive to his workshop, where I sketch out the sign and amaze both of them with the ability to draw in perspective.

An “S” in a circle, constructed out of tightly interwoven stone leaves, carved painstakingly as a deep relief into a single 3’x3′ foot slab of white stone from Yogyakarta, all commissioned before 7:00 am for the price of a New York parking ticket.

100 greetings from wonderful Indonesia.