From A to B and back again

Making things has never been easy, the end product never resembles the initial concept, and there are always problems to solve, though that process is really what makes any idea worth chasing. The constant glimmer of doubt and the “why do I suck so bad?” tries to keeps you from moving forward, plus one of the worst things Covid has done is tack on an extra layer of paralysis.

But so, having non-judgmental assistants is extremely important.

You make some good decisions, 

and you make some bad ones.

Several months ago we decided to design our own 1001plateaus cycling jerseys and our friends at Standing’s Butchery, Now Serving, The Cleaver Quarterly, Westside Table Tennis Academy, Circumference Books, and Michael Maltzan Architecture were happy to be a part of it. That was the easy part. We didn’t want blue (ever seen a blue cycling jersey?), we didn’t want a gradient/all-over look, and we wanted to keep it visible for cars and full of color. The wonderful people at Endura went out of their way to make sure the final colors were satisfactory (printing on fabric is something else!) and some Scottish seamstresses sewed it all up.

Starting out with a drawing is always good because if things don’t work out, you always have the drawing. Finagling the details can be a chore.

Consider designing a piece of civic infrastructure with this drawing:

Michael Maltzan’s “Ribbon of Light,” 2012, an early sketch for the 6th Street Viaduct. (Michael Maltzan Architecture)

Ten years and 588 million dollars later you get this gorgeous concrete bridge looping and spanning over the LA river, two freeways, and a maze of train tracks.

If you’re the architect of the bridge you get to ride across it, before the mayor cuts the yellow ribbon, before the cars, before the donuts, before the skaters, before the graffiti.

Well well well.