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:
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:
- I own a pair of Ray-ban optical glasses – they haven’t broken in four years.
- I use Instagram everyday – the community of photographers inspire and challenge me.
- I own a pour-over coffee maker – the coffee tastes great, and there is a sense of pride when I get it right.
- 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.