prompt three part 1 DISCOURSE


Slow Knowledge is a chapter from David W. Orr’s The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture and Human Intention

Slow knowledge is knowledge that has been used for a long period of time that has been serving those using it well. Slow knowledge has stood the test of time by being utilized effectively despite circumstantial difficulties. Fast knowledge is the use of new, often technically derived, know-how that supposedly makes the carrying out of a function easier. The term and meaning of “slow knowledge” reminds me of an Japanese saying “温故知新 –  on-ko-chi-shin”. The direct translation of each characters are “warm up, past, knowledge, new”. To know what shall be, one must consider what has been. Correspondingly, the acquisition and implementation of fast knowledge should start from knowing old traditions of the land, communities, and habitat; in other words, if one wants to utilize fast knowledge well, it would be wise to not ignore the past; it would be wise to understand how old knowledge can inform desired “improvement” that will utilize fast knowledge, to ensure that the past and its wise lessons are not ignored.

A bundle of sweetgrass that arrived


“Sweetgrass, as the hair of Mother Earth, is traditionally braided to show loving care for her well-being braids, plaited of three strands, are given away as signs of kindness and gratitude.”
—Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

I wanted to experiment with something related to old knowledge that I could access. Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) is an aromatic herb native to northern Eurasia and North America. Indigenous peoples use sweetgrass in sacred ceremonies(  By hearing about sweetgrass from Indigenous stories that I discovered in the last few years, I was intrigued by how it was described. The description of sweetgrass as the “hair of mother earth” connected with me as I have a grass nicknamed “Angel’s Hair” and that is a favourite grass of mine. It is a very thin, soft grass that resembles hair. I wondered if the sweetgrass I was reading about would be similar.  So, I went online and found an Indigenous family business who would gather a small bundle to me from their home in Saskatchewan and send it to me.

Brooklyn, examining sweetgrass

When the box arrived, I opened it with excitement and immediately smelled a sweet vanilla-like smell. “It smells so sweet!” I thought. The box consisted of a handful of 20” long strands of grass and several strands were braided together. I waved the sweetgrass in the air like a fan, listening to the long strands swishing as the sweet aroma filled the room. I loved my very first encounter with the sweetgrass. My dogs loved the smell too. I hung it on the wall where I can continue to admire it. Several weeks later it still has the sweet aroma emanating from it. I now am wondering how can I continue to use this and understand how to use it in respectful ways? How would it feel to braid it or how can I make something else with it?  I imagined just walking through a field of sweetgrass surrounded by the sweet aroma. How nice would that be. Eager to learn old knowledge from those that have mastered it, wanting to show the deep admiration I have for our Indigenous people who are keepers of immense amounts of slow knowledge. I think sweetgrass is a good place to start.

prompt two MATERIAL


Prompt two was to establish a daily making practice relevant to my practice but something that would include working with relatively new materials. 

My drawing pads came to my mind straight away.  I haven’t been utilizing them at all. I do enjoy drawing and painting, so previously I thought I could easily get used to digital drawing,.  However, any attempt to become proficient with drawing pads ended up in frustration. Therefore, they stayed buried in my drawers. 

It was nerve-wracking for me to set a goal of learning how to draw  digitally in two weeks and to create something decent in the process!  But without this pressure, I feel I would have continued to avoid it.

So…, I decided to give it a try.

First Week

With my faculty, Cameron’s, suggestion, I decided to try a drawing application called “Procreate”.  It seemed easy enough to start; in fact, it was much easier to use than Adobe Illustrator! While I was testing out different brushes, I was also learned to use to the left sliders to vary the size and opacity of brushes.

First week practice

Second Week

Getting rid of the mediation

During my one-on-one with Cameron at the end of week one, he suggested to “get rid of the mediation”.  “How about drawing more like gesture drawing”? he said. 

I think he wanted me to focus on the gesture more than the details of the objects that I was drawing.  It made sense! I went home and contemplated objectively what my next actions should be. I needed to get rid of the mediation processes, but I always tend to focus on details. To counter my natural process and step into Carmon’s suggestion, I thought that I should practice blind drawing of movements. I had never tried blind gesture drawing prior to this, but I believe this could work for me to get rid of the mediation physically and mentally. 

Following this plan, I was able to focus on what is in the present moment.


My first attempt was capturing our two dogs in our backyard. I sat on the patio and watched and captured them in their movements without looking at my iPad. I found it interesting that their eyes and noses stood out afterwards.

Dog park

The colours were chosen from the colour theme made from the photo taken on the location.


Blind Drawing Walk

Up to this time, I stayed in one place while I drew. Then I wondered what it would be like to blind draw while I was moving. I decided to try this as I walked.  

Walk One

The first drawing while walking was on a sidewalk in my neighbourhood lined with trees and vegetation. Notice the crow at the top.

Walk Two

Walk Two is from a similar viewpoint while returning home. I changed the colours because outside was darker.

Time Lapse of Walk Two

This prompt started with a few lines and ended with lots of lines. Something spoke to me when I walked while I drew. My discovery was that I realized that present time stands upon layers of times. Time is something that we all experience without boundaries. I thought of how we all are at the top layer of time at every moment. The present becomes the past – I was feeling this in real time through layering the scenes I saw as I walked by. It is hard to explain, but it was an interesting moment to ponder while my hands moved. I also discovered that people come and go but the land, trees and non-human animals stay living the same way.  It was a new and interesting experiment to observe my environment this way. 

Me walking and drawing 🙂

prompt one GIFT


t.a. kit, T.A. Survival Kit

For the first prompt, I was paired with my new classmate, Sahil. We were assigned to get to know each other and create a gift for each other. 

During a half hour video call (which felt like a five-minutes call), we were able to learn about each other by asking some questions and felt that we were able to obtain a good amount of information to create a gift. 

Interview Summary

In proceeding, I started to draw a mind map to figure out things that should be factored into the gift I was going to give him; Sahil lives in Delta with his family. His mom and grandma taught him how to cook. His dad is a big truck mechanic and has a workshop on their property. His Dad also built a studio space for Sahil. 

Sahil is an alumni from Emily Carr, having graduated with a Bachelors in Design degree last year. He has been working as a freelance designer since graduation and loves photography, design, art direction, and other creative activities. He enjoys managing teams and collaborating with others. 

In the future Sahil wants to teach; his next step to accomplish that goal is to become a T.A.  I thought I wanted to give him something that would be useful in the near future – to help him when he becomes a T.A.

“How about a kit — a survival kit?”, I thought. So,  I decided to come up with a survival kit to support his T.A. activities.

I looked back on my experience as a student and attempts to teach Japanese to non-Japanese people and came up with a list of things I thought could help Sahil as a T.A. 

Sanitizer, extra mask, sketchbook, stickers, stamp, mini-whiteboard, markers, sensory toy, snacks, water…

These are the materials that made it to the final list to be included in a kit; other things that I thought about but did not include were: a book (for yourself or for students), notebook, and an apron (for when you are in a workshop studio). 

While I was putting this together, I thought it would be a good idea to present it as a branded care kit for T.A.’s. I have called it – the “t. a. kit”! A simple title, I know, but one that I think works well.

Materials collected for the kit


This prompt allowed me to learn about my new classmate in a smooth and natural way. It is always difficult to get to know a new class through usual class introductions. Also it is hard to provide extensive information about yourself to people you meet for the first time. With this prompt, it was easier to let my assigned partner know about myself (knowing my partner needed my information) and easier for me to learn about him.

It was interesting to realize that I was able to started to organize my thoughts through design thinking.  All the “mundane” processes ingrained in me during my undergrad came in handy : ).

The actual kit