Month: October 2015

Starting from scratch

It’s not every day that you have the chance to begin with a clean slate and choose every aspect and detail of your daily life anew. Of course, the opportunity rarely comes without it’s own set of constraints (perhaps geographic, financial or otherwise), but constraints are exactly what designers thrive on. As you may have guessed, that is exactly the situation I have found myself in, hence the recent radio silence. Luckily it has provided ample opportunities for applying design to life, which I hope to share over a series of posts. Location location location. For me, the most important decision is where to live. Few decisions have more impact on daily life and require a clearer set of priorities. For me it boils down to the following criteria: convenience (access to public transport, green space, shops, ≤ 30 min commute), neighbourhood (safe, diverse and vibrant street-level culture), space (“good bones” and efficient layout, outdoor space a plus), community (close to groups with whom I want to be active, such as friends, fitness programmes, makers, startups) and cost (≤30% of salary is a common reference). There were a …

Hong Kong vs. London

As I begin to type, I’m chowing down on a slice of chocolate, pear and cardamom cake at an adorable cafe next to my flat in Bethnal Green. Turns out cardamom is trending in London this year and I’m taking full advantage. As I’ve said many times over, my time in London is an opportunity to both indulge in things unique to this city and look at Hong Kong in a more objective light. On that note, some initial comparisons: Hongkongers are spoiled with fantastic, cheap public transport. It’s not that London doesn’t have an extensive system or that a car is necessary to survive (like almost all US cities), but the options are not nearly as efficient and consistent here. On top of that, they are significantly more expensive. My daily commute by train in both cities clocks in at about 15 minutes on one line with no transfers. In Hong Kong it cost me HK$12.6 (£1.04) and I can’t remember a single delay in the last year. In London I spend £5.8 (HK$69.58) per …