François Girard-Meunier

Rietveld graduate / designer

1. What are you currently working on?

"Mostly home-fixing, cooking and gardening. Surprisingly, I still have some freelance assignments though… I’ve secretly wished they’d be cancelled. I’ve also been reading obsessively about tendrils – specialized climbing plant stems sensible to touch – which is obviously the result of me observing my indoor cucumber plants on a daily basis at home while ‘working’."

2. What has changed for you now that the Rietveld buildings are closed for classes and meetings?

"Together with The Office of Alina Lupu, we’re running ‘How do you 🏡?’, in which we’re mapping how students fulfill their accommodation needs. Reaching out to students of the academy in person is not possible anymore, and to be honest, digital means can’t always really match a good old physical presence in all this regime of busiyness and self-absorbed minds."

3. And what is staying the same?

"The sun still rises East and sets West. And I’m still not so much into videocalling or livestreams. I miss catching up with smiles, and the feel of touch, a bit, though."

4. Do you have a tip to make these isolating times a little but more joyful?

"Thinking about history(ies) as cycles of event-types: it is quite unusual to think of a generation of people that never experienced wartime and conflict (in the western world of course). Comfort is a privilege (as staying home implies ‘having’ a home). I don’t aim at making the apology of chaos, but realizing you’re being ‘stuck’ in comfort can be transformative itself. On a practical side: if anxiety kicks in, slowing down on digital connectivity might be good (I know it’s kind of paradoxical but the less I’m pushed in the information loop the better I sleep). And now you don’t have to feel guilty when you’re missing on a bunch of cultural events because you ended up taking care of yourself and embracing your introverted nature :)"

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