Peo­ple have asked me many times to say what, exact­ly, is the point of this project. I’ve always had a fas­ci­na­tion with the ways that cre­ative peo­ple bal­ance inspi­ra­tion and dis­ci­pline in their work­ing lives. It’s easy to be ener­gized when you’re in the grip of a big idea. But what do you do when you don’t have any­thing to work with? Just stay in bed? Writ­ers have this fig­ured out: it’s amaz­ing how many of them have a rigid rou­tine. John Cheev­er, for instance, used to wake up every morn­ing in his New York City apart­ment, put on a jack­et and tie, kiss his wife good­bye, and take the ele­va­tor down to his apart­ment building’s base­ment, when he would sit at a small desk and write until quit­ting time, at which point he’d go back up. (When it was hot in the base­ment, he’d strip down to his under­wear to work.) The only way to expe­ri­ence this kind of dis­ci­pline is to sub­ject your­self to it. Every stu­dent who has tak­en this project had a moment where the work turned into a mind-numb­ing grind. And trust me: it won’t be the first time this hap­pens. The trick is to press on. For each new day (whether it’s Day 28, Day 61, even Day 100) brings with it the hope of inspi­ra­tion.

Five Years of 100 Days: Obser­va­to­ry: Design Observ­er

Sore­ly tempt­ed to take this project on myself. Tick­les my masochism pick­le.

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.