I had the overwhelming honor of speaking at Webshaped in Helsinki this year. I had a fantastic time in a beautiful city, and I was sad to leave. As I waited in the airport, I noticed these huge stickers on the floor: FINNISH DESIGNDESIGN GALLERYI followed them, and sure enough I was led to a big, open room filled with chairs designed by various Finns. Weird, wonderful inventions. “SIT DOWN; SEIZE THE MOMENT” is plastered on the wall. I’m too afraid to actually sit on account of the security guards, so I continue to admire from a safe distance.At the back of the room is a board filled with the profiles of the designers, as well as headphones dangling from the ceiling. But they weren't headphones at all—they were ear protectors. The idea was to take these ear protectors, go and sit down and just enjoy the deafening silence. It’s wonderful that something like this exists in an airport, or anywhere at all. I turn around and notice one last thing—hundreds of sticky notes on a far wall. I walk up. They’re from the people who sat and listened to the silence. Tales of their experience. I looked over all the strange messages on the wall, and one in particular stood out to me. Life is just beautiful.I told this to a friend and she put it into the words I was struggling to find:Life has such an awesome way of reminding us of these things. Like it’s rewarding us for paying attention. The most beautiful user-experience.Put down your phone every once in a while. Always look up. Follow suspicious signs.
08 Jun 2012