Thoughtful Acts, With An Appropriately Snarky Attitude

Sunday March 15, 16.29.56

Neighborly offerings. Fruit fresh from the tree is often found out and about in Los Angeles.

Some observations of peculiar social practices found from last Saturday’s head-clearing perambulation. There was this, first as I approached from this tree from the eastward.
People lucky enough to have fruit trees often have more than they and the resident squirrels can consume themselves. Offering some up to passersby is indeed a thoughtful act. Often, the fruit looks like fruit properly should; not the curated spheres you find in the supermarket. The wonderful Fallen Fruit Collective does their urban incursions based on a proliferation of fruit trees that overhang the public/private property borders around various cities. I understand they got their start here in Los Angeles — Silverlake is what I’m told.

Sunday March 15, 16.29.21

Bags for those forgetful dog walkers, and pointed advice in the form of a veiled threat to the more reluctant who engage in the converse Thoughtless Act of not picking up their dog’s poo.

On the verso of the same tree, a thoughtful offering of a different sort — advice and some supplies related to picking up after your dog does its business. My front yard has been bombed. A family remedy: liberal application of powdered red chili pepper in the grass. The challenge is in re-applying after the dew and sprinklers have dissolved the previous applique. It appears to work mostly through learned behavior. Dogs habitually deposit in the same spot, sniffing for the previous target. When they get a stinging whiff the first time, they remember to just avoid that locale and move along.
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The Map Is Here For You To Use

Sunday February 15, 09:19:01

Tucked away, a map there for me to use.

Departing Madrid early on a Sunday morning, I found this paper map of the Metro, tucked neatly within the seams of a pre-fab wall, ready for re-use. I wondered, who was on their way out of Madrid, thinking that they could not in good conscience throw away their worn map, looking about for a way to pass it along to another visitor.

Another instance of a Thoughtful Act.

Why do I blog this? Sudden interest in observing improvisatory social practices which are signals of a sort, not always of a “service” or designed object to adopt that practice into a commodified instantiation. But sometimes merely a curiosity that helps us better understand who we/people are, like waypoints along a contour of individual and collective humanities.
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Thoughtful Acts

This came up in the studio..errr…I think it was a studio BBQ. Mr Newman pondered – what about thoughtful acts?

A sign of a restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, painted backwards so motorists’ passing along on the parallel street would see it in their rear view mirror.

Thursday February 12, 15:21:20

A lost scarf thoughtfully tied to secure it from blowing away in the wind, and up high enough in a tree so that it could be seen from a distance. Toledo, Spain

The inside-the-design-world joke was a curtsey toward Jane Fulton Suri’s Thoughtful Acts, a fun little compendium of mostly observations-as-images meant to reflect upon the “thoughtless acts” people do — “those intuitive ways we adapt, exploit, and react to things in our environment; things we do without really thinking.”

Thoughtless Act? Or Thoughtful Improvisation? Taxi driver arranges his bluetooth ear piece and his phone within reach in San Francisco, California

Thursday February 12, 08:38:49

A smart vest, lost late into the boozy night before, more than likely. Picked up and hung on a sort of street baluster to be found, hopefully, by its rightful owner in Madrid, Spain

Thoughtless acts happen as a matter of course, unconscious in some instances, or done without deep consideration. It might be tying the string to a tea bag around the handle of your mug to keep the string and tag from falling into the hot water. Or turning the claw of a hammer into an improvised door jamb. That sort of thing.

For the fun of it, and to think through curious observations — what might a thoughtful act be? One that does favor to other people? That shows the heart and humanity of a social microcosm? I dunno. Perhaps something that shows deliberation and ingenuity with a raw sense of simplicity and just-get-it-done-edness.

Why do I blog this? Observations turned to conclusions and insights. How do you make sense of anonymous acts of generosity and consideration? Or simple indicators that suggest that design is always a conversation with things getting redone with purpose.

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