What are you, autarkic or something?

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Am Reading Orlando Figes magnum opus ‘A People's Tragedy’ (our bookshelves are a groaning legacy of leftovers, now the children have all left and left behind piles of stuff they’ve no room for - but it does leave a treasure trove of random volumes to trip over) about the collapse of Tsarist Russia. Can’t think why that might have piqued my curiosity. Oh. Yes I can. 

Dipping into other peoples world’s (and you know what, if you’ve not read any history, maybe give it a go?) reveals a trove of ideas and language you’d just never encounter elsewhere; accepting you’re not a cryptic crossword junkie with a vocabulary to put linguistics to shame. 

Figes, meanwhile, introduced me to autarkic, which apart from having an amazing mouth sound, if it’s not a spectacular definition of the design community I’ve yet to meet a better one. 

Autarky is the characteristic of self sufficiency, particularly of groups or societies and, sure, it’s an economic reference point but do you know many other working groups who could fit that bill more? Ok, sure, charcoal burners. I’ll admit there may be others. But designers?

I’d say living on your uppers and managing to cope your way through a career that’s mostly like crazy-paving demands a pretty high degree of mental self sufficiency. 

Welcome to our Autarky. You have found your people.


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