A few more shots from my trip to New Mexico last week… lots of patterns and prints have been jiggling around in my head since I returned home. This week is going to be a blur of taxes, proofs and press checks, finalizing a client website to pass off to the developer, filming editing…and hopefully no new gray hairs this week.
While in New Mexico last week I had the opportunity to visit Parachute Factory, a studio/makerspace I was introduced to through a series of emails with one of its founders, Mariano Ulibarri. Mariano reached out to me after seeing a Skill Exchange poster, photographed by a friend visiting the bay area. We exchanged emails about our work, which eventually lead to an invitation to speak at NMHU, where Mariano is a graduate student in the Media Arts department. The aim of Parachute Factory is to foster collaboration between designers, tinkerers, ranchers, and educators in rural Las Vegas. The minds behind Parachute Factory are up to a lot of playful and tech-based projects these days, including hacker scout workshops for kids and adult workshops.
After visiting Parachute Factory, I am excited to see what continues to grow there in the coming months. Mariano and I have even discussed the possibility of a Skill Exchange + Parachute Factory collaboration here in the Bay Area sometime later this year (!!!) If you are curious about this innovative makerspace, you should visit parachutefactory.org and follow Mariano on twitter @marianoulibarri.
A few months ago I was invited to visit to New Mexico, to meet with students at NMHU to talk about my work as a graphic designer, and as the founder of Skill Exchange. I gave a talk about my work to a class of grads and undergrads, and met with students to advise and participate in a few informal critiques. I’ve spoken a handful of times over the last year with different student groups in the bay area about my work, but this was the first time I’ve taken Skill Exchange out of state. After flying in last week, I split my time between Santa Fe and Las Vegas, where NMHU is located.
I’ve never visited this part of the country before, and while I was prepared for the colder weather and possible snow (it snowed), I was not prepared for the high altitude, or the dramatic change in scenery. I didn’t know what to expect of New Mexico, and although I saw just a fraction of the state, I really enjoyed the stark geographic differences– and the horizon! I have not seen so much horizon in one place in a very long time. I saw a few very dramatic sunsets, and I soon learned that Las Vegas, NM is “Where the rocky mountains meet the great plains”. Mountains in one direction, flat horizon in the other.
A few highlights: Wandering around Las Vegas, staying in the historic hotel where scenes from “No Country for Old Men” were filmed, visiting The Parachute Factory (more on that later), exploring parts of Santa Fe and checking out the Palace of the Governors, and brunch at Pasquals. I now realize my education has a gaping hole where the history of all of the Southwest should be. In elementary-high school school we learned about the early English settlements, a very vague and inaccurate history of Christopher Columbus, and absolutely nothing about the Spanish history of the Southwest. I have a feeling a history binge is in my near future.
I’m off on official Skill Exchange business this week, Flying to New Mexico for the week for a few lectures, meetings, and a whole lot of interesting conversation and connection. I won’t be blogging much this week, except to share the newest Skill Exchange video later this week!