Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Design Observation # 3 SNOOP: No Man's Land

My dad is a nomad.

This is his official office.

But THIS is his actual office.

My dad is the kind of person who never has a routine. He could be going on a road trip to Pampangga one minute and attending a car show in Hong Kong the next. Because it's so difficult to predict when or where he would show up, it keeps his employees on their toes. The fact that he doesn't carry a cellphone makes it even more difficult to track down where he is.

I chose to spy on my dad.
Although I've known him all my life, there's still a part of him that remains a mystery. He has always given everything (right arm included) to me and my brother. So much so, that it's hard to define who he is separate from us. I wanted to demistify who he actually was, separate from him as an employer, father and partner.

A few days ago, I went on my mission and snooped into one of his offices. Of all the places he
"haunts", a certain space that he frequents, is his office in Caloocan. The lot, which has been a school for 10 years, used to be a residential house with a big garage. This was my dad's childhood home. He specifically designed the school around it so the house still retains its original structure

While he was on a meeting, I went into his little den to see what I could find.

The room has two bookshelves all filled with home improvement books. There were no novels or anything of that sort. Most of the books are old and have yellowing pages. He seems to be the kind of person who keeps everything that he gets ahold of. Preferring the classic to the modern.

The room contains an entertainment systems as well. A stark comparison to his book choices. There is a a new flat screen television that is hanging on the wall. Below it however, is not a DVD player as one would expect, but a VCD player and even a cassette tape player. There is also a VHS player far below. These seem to be contradicting identity claims, which leads me to think that although he holds the past dear to his heart, he also is someone who looks to the future. Even with his age, he keeps with the times.

To have a massage chair in an office probably means that a day in their life is stressful. Not only does my dad have a massage chair in his office, but he also has an oxygen tank. Noticing it has gotten me a tad bit nervous but it also gave me security that he is trying to take care of himself.

On a table nearby, there are envelopes dated days and even weeks ago. Piles upon piles of personal mail have gone unopened. For someone who has a thriving business, to not open mail seems like a risky move. He seems to be the kind of person who lives in the moment and who doesn't enjoy planning things. Or it could also mean that he leads such a busy life, he can't even find time to open his mail.

If I were to give my dad a gift, it would be a month long vacation.

He deserves it.

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