My New BFF, Author Ellen Lupton
Tweet. Tweet. This is my twitter post from 8:45 PM Mar 31st
Ellen spoke at the Walker Art Center in March for their Insights Lecture series. Seriously, I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard an audience at a design lecture laugh like that. It was awesome. At the lecture, she showed us a sneak peek of her book Design Your Life: The pleasures and perils of everyday things. She co-authored the book with her sister Julia. I knew I had to get the book. I went to Barnes & Noble last week to buy father’s day gifts and sought out the book. And I found it. And I devoured it. In about three days.
The book is wittily written with a conversational tone. And humor is sprinkled liberally on-top. The page layout of the book is wonderful. The short bursts of writing are punctuated with beautiful illustrations making this book a designer’s favorite. Easy to read and understand, this book does not stand upon a design soap box. It’s real. And unpretentious. The authors are obviously down-to-earth and live in our reality. The book entertained and informed me.
It inspired me to recycle all the software, electronic and camera boxes that litter my office closets. I kept the boxes, because…well…what if? Then, while I was reading this book, I came to the following revelation, “What if WHAT!!!” Why do I need the box from my computer that I purchased two years ago? To return it??!!! It was with great pleasure that I organized the instruction manuals into a small plastic box and watched my husband haul the empty boxes to the curb. Then, I used the newly gained shelf space to organize the pile of books lying beside my bed.
My favorite chapter starts on page 101, “The Myth of the Working Mother.” I’m not a mother. But I do think about one day becoming one. And I’m pretty sure I want to be a working mommy. I’m also pretty sure I do not want to be a little league mom. I knew Ellen and I are kindred spirits when I read the paragraph with the heading, “Sports Purgatory.” The illustration next to the paragraph is a baseball mitt flipping the bird. An excerpt from the paragraph reads, “Too much exposure to organized sports can cause bloating, hot flashes, and bad hair days in mothers, while fathers have reported sudden delusions of candor.”
I knew Ellen and I shared similar thinking after I attended her lecture. And now, after reading this book, I realized that we are actually BFFs separated by not having ever met and 1,113 miles.