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4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste 305
Chicago, IL 60640
USA

773.271.1990

We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.

Blog

Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

How Does It Feel?

Peter Nicholson

Embodied Gratitude
Each click satisfied. When I was about 8, one of my prized possessions was my Dymo label maker. You rotated the dial from letter to letter, squeezed the handle, and it spit out a raised-letter plastic strip that could be affixed to anything. As a kid, this activity gave me some sense of agency when I felt I had little. The world seemed imbued with knowledge that was constantly shifting and outside my reach, but not others'. I was determined to learn how things worked, and still am. Labeling things helped create a sense of order and stasis, however temporary. There is a difference between power and control, and the ability to influence. There are also elements that resist a designer’s conjecture more than others, like personalities, feelings, behaviors and beliefs. Labeling won’t change their nature, make them something different and better. Most of the time, I feel like I’m still growing up. The more I practice yoga, the more I realize what a beginner I am. The more I pursue sustainable innovation, the more deeply I appreciate the distance we have to travel, what I still need to learn to do, how difficult evolving ingrained systems can be. Those thin plastic labels were cool, unambiguous, and tactile. I would rub my finger across the raised surface thinking that if my vision were impaired, perhaps I would still be able to read, and in a way see. I’m grateful for this technology, the ability to create and affix a mark that not only I, but also others can follow.