Wordsmithing: Edition 1

I struggled to write this first blog – my first vocalization here at Boor Bridges of what I value as a designer; or what random event in my new San Francisco life I might find intriguing and relatable to the architecture that we practice.  The terms were broad, and my mind reeled as I attempted to choose one – just one – topic.  I thought about expounding upon the lack of housing stock here in the city.  I considered illustrating how I bundled up my sprawling Los Angeles life and wedged it into a bay window. (with wood floors).  Yet the subject that has bent my ear is just one word.  It’s a term that I’ve been hearing a lot lately; though, it has been around for 60 years.  I know this word quite well, but I have never felt apologetic about it until now.  When I begin to wonder… do you think I’m a hipster?

When did “hipster” take on a derogatory slant?  To begin to understand this, I think it’s appropriate to turn to the experts.  Dictionary.com defines “hipster” in the following way:

hipster [hip-ster]
noun Slang.
1. a person who is hip.
2. hepcat.
3. a person, especially during the 1950s, characterized by a particularly strong sense of alienation from most established social activities and relationships.

I’m not going to entertain you with the definition provided by Urbandictionary.com.  You don’t need me to relate its imagery, because we have all seen Portlandia…  But I will venture to say that I take issue with the current crowd-sourced idea of what it means to be a hipster.  I don’t agree that they are people polluting our coffee shops and making our cocktails and toast expensive.  I think that some hip individuals decided to do things differently; they decided to care passionately about creating a unique product – and they let us enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Unfortunately, fresh becomes overdone, and to quote Edward Abbey, “Today’s hip is tomorrow’s hype, kid.”

Bear with me as I extricate this bee from my bonnet.  An example by way of an abbreviated description of me:

  1. I own a pair of Ray-ban optical glasses – they haven’t broken in four years.
  2. I use Instagram everyday – the community of photographers inspire and challenge me.
  3. I own a pour-over coffee maker – the coffee tastes great, and there is a sense of pride when I get it right.
  4. I own a record player – my dad passed on his collection to me, and the sound quality cannot be outdone.

If you read only the first part of each sentence, then you might scoff, “What a hipster!”  However, if you read the entire story, you might derive that I like design that is long-lasting and comfortable – that is simple but instilled with meaning.  And you would understand why I am so happy in San Francisco.  I am thankful to live in a city that it is open minded and constantly turning today into tomorrow and starting all over again.  I am grateful to have landed in an office full of like-minded individuals – bent on producing work that is authentic and full of soul.  I am not going to apologize for being a hipster, because by the definition of the word, I don’t think I should.

The views expressed herein are the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the point of view of the company as a whole; we are an atelier of thinkers and designers.