Lost in Translation; Found in Design

You don’t have to hear everything to feel the point.
— JIm Hubbell

We are at the 7th day of our journey, the last day of hand-drawing designs, and the first day of clay modeling. It is clear that part of this journey has been about surrendering to being lost in translation, as we have all had moments where the communications are not so easy.  Eight languages float around the group, however, we achieve a balance both by surrendering and pushing through, and our designs show it.

We have morphed into four mixed groups, with four different designs that we’ve all shaped  and changed over the past few days. Each has amazing potential and ideas. Today we presented our final designs and saw some natural similarities between the designs. We’re learning from each other, dropping our egos at the door in order to recognize the best individual ideas and incorporate them into group designs.

Some similarities emerge: the center of our parks have neared the same points; we have landed on three major entry points/walkways; and, of course, our parks are all oriented to showcase the Pacific as the powerful and majestic lady that she is.

Our designs have grown better through these commonalities, and this mirrors our group dynamic. Everyone is getting to know each other a little bit better, and everyone is feeling more comfortable being themselves.

So the fun is really beginning! The cultural exchange is continual and highly entertaining.  If you were to overhear us in our dorms and drafting rooms, you might witness something like this…

—The Korean students tell the Chinese students how to say “I don’t speak Korean,” in Korean. Then they discover they all watched the same children’s television show growing up and break into the theme song.

—The Chinese students teach the U.S. and Russian students how to say in Chinese, “A double negative is a positive.” Then they reiterate both the pronunciation but somehow change the meaning.

—The Russian students teach everyone how to lead cheers in Russian.

Meanwhile, the city outside our charette is buzzing. We see people walking by, staring at our modge-podge group, while we stare back at the t-shirts they are wearing, seeing English phrases like “puberty never.”

It all makes us think, keeps us entertained, and puts us right back into being lost in translation again.