As I reflect on the designs of the board and stones for Zhadu, I remember that there was a time when I would methodically develop the reasoning behind everything single aspect of the aesthetics. Every line, angle, and curve was accounted for. I would purposely note why I had chosen this shape, color, material rather than something else. I had to know the “why” of everything in relation to the overall design. The guiding principle that I held close at that time was that of “intention”.

I decided back then that my ‘craft’ required a certain depth of thought and feeling if I was to achieve the standards of design that I aspired to. I soon realized that there was a dimension to the process of designing the aesthetics that I had previously took for granted – discovery.

In Zhadu, there had to be a relationship between the conceptual aspects of the play, the aesthetics and the story. But the diamond shape of the board occurred not through deliberate analysis and consideration, but in a quiet moment while looking at my sketches.

In some way, I trusted the depth in which the insight arose from within me.
I realized in those moments that my “intention” had been misplaced. Rather than proceed with the inclination of having to know the why of every angle, I simply needed to ready for when the insights would arrive. This required a commitment to fostering quiet spaces inside and out.

Tags: Design
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