06 April 2015


"Juggling Jott" illustration from the book by Dr. Seuss, IF I RAN THE CIRCUS.
I used to toy with the idea that if architecture didn’t work out as a career for me, I would join the circus.  This adventurous dream comforted me during those long studio nights as a student when my built creativity felt uneventful.

In my pursuit to become an architect, my professional career steered away from a licensed practice and instead, life invited me to perform these roles in the following order: sales assistant at the Norton Simon Museum, designer (a.k.a. the AutoCAD years), sales associate at Macy’s, telemarketer for the Oregon Ballet Theater, social media content enthusiast for a business conference, and cofounder of design-build studio Mark + Vivi.

Nine months ago, the resume that read like it had been orchestrated by a juggling jott, led me to Cirque du Soleil. I used to dream about running away to join the circus as a joking alternative, and today, it is the place where my design-thinking skills serve a grand purpose in their life-curated and unpretentious state. I am currently a designer and creative liaison to Welby Altidor, who with brilliant irony, will be speaking at this year’s AIA Convention in Atlanta.

Moral of the story: Sometimes life is beyond an either-or dream...and the circus is just around the corner. 

To celebrate this union of careers, I decided to embark on the #The100DayProject by Elle Luna and The Great Discontent. In honour of my studio days at Cal Poly, I give this project the unique title, #100DaysOfWearableCharrettes . . . at the Circus.

A few notes about this challenge...

WEARABLE: Author/Designer and CdS coworker Melissa A. Thompson is my muse for this project. Fast facts: Via a serendipitous encounter, Melissa was the first person to greet me my first day at the circus. Everyday, she compliments her outfit with a broach.

CHARRETTE: A timed, active, and visual brainstorming exercise that originated at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in France to develop problem-solving skills.

PROCESS: For this project, inspired by Melissa's confident etiquette, I will create miniature wearable worlds the size of broaches inspired by my daily life at the circus.

  • Wake up at 5:30am.
  • Spend 5 mins to brainstorm concept.
  • Gather materials.
  • Total building time: 59 minutes max
  • Post to Instagram @vivdelo
  • Deliver broach to Melissa to wear for the day.
  • Throughout the day, be on the look out for unique materials, and make note of memorable conversations.
  • Repeat process everyday for 100 days!
NOTE: Process is subject to change should I need to adapt to unexpected events.

A special thank you to Maira Kalman and the late Italo Calvino. These two books kept me dreaming during uncertain times!

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