Day 162: Eat an entire meal with chopsticks
February 12, 2011 § 3 Comments
To begin, I’d like to talk a bit about the design firm I visited the past two days. The firm took off in 1994 after the company president designed ‘The Ultimate Hanger,’ pictured below.
One of Stephanie’s professors from last quarter is the vice president of the firm, which is how I learned about it. I’ve heard all about the design process from Stephanie, but it was really cool to see it in action.
The office was gorgeous, filled with past products they had made, such as a pool table, coffee machine and modern-looking toaster. They even had a test kitchen for research into cooking appliances. Every wall was a bulletin board, where drawings and sketches of product ideas had been tacked up for peer evaluation. Instead of using paper, the designers sketch out ideas on giant, touch screen computers. They draw using a stylus, and the computer is pressure sensitive, meaning that lines can appear thicker or darker depending on how hard they press. Design really is a scientific process, and I feel like I gained a lot of insight into what Steph does.
Now, for the primary plot of this post. Today I went out to a Korean restaurant with the designers for lunch. Everyone ordered the same thing: a bowl split in half with noodles in black bean sauce on one side an a spicy shrimp soup on the other. One of the Korean designers told me that the dishes are so popular in Korea that men would bring their girlfriends to restaurants to force the women to order the soup while they ordered the black bean noodles, and that is how this combo plate was born. It really was delicious.
However, the server left no forks at the table. Every one of the designers broke out their chopsticks and started eating. I am notoriously bad at using chopsticks, and in the past have used them to skewer food instead of actually picking anything up. Unfortunately, it is a difficult task to skewer food when all you have are noodles. I observed the way the designers held the sticks, and by mimicking them, was somehow able to finish the entire dish.
I think it is awful pathetic that I was so proud of myself after doing this. The majority of the Eastern hemisphere use chopsticks for every meal. My inability to use chopsticks made me feel socially ignorant. I think I may have to replace our silverware with bamboo to redeem myself.