Deleted the originals way time ago. Caught its bits and pieces from the Internet.
Today’s a Monday. Also a day for mom to drop by the nearby neighbourhood 'pasar malam' (night-market) to buy produces for the entire week. I’m still unsure if weekly food-shopping is an Asian thing; loads of big+small plastic bags enough to fill up 2/3 of a fridge.
Our practice of strolling the wet-market on Sunday mornings ended long ago, where it’s nostalgic to be have a cuppa’ kopi with the saucer. "Roti bakar satu set, telur s’paruh masak dua!" Then off we go to meet mom and help her carry everything home. The two-hour episode’s stinky, hot, sleepy, sweaty and smelly (I gotta’ emphasise this twice).
Over the years, I’d guess the line between wet-markets and neighbourhood night-markets had blurred. Mom now prefer the latter. It is convenient and less crowded though options are limited. I’d thought it beat supermarkets’ cleanliness with an attempt to imitate open-markets in an air-conditioned surrounding that sets the differentiating price point.
The design of a marketplace, if it’s ever meant to be an outcome of design, is perhaps the result of a changing trade between people since the days of barter practice. Could it be that what we see in markets today were products of either a deliberate or unconscious design? Could it be that the design lies not on visual, but of cultural trades that seem invisible?
My friend Razif used to share his view on how we are all participating in different ‘marketplaces’, and took part creating without realising it. Think of a knowledge marketplace (forums, Wikipedia, CeL), resource marketplace (Intranet, online tutorials, Torrents), social marketplace (you know the examples), or even an entertainment marketplace.
Another friend Zarul also shared with me on what he read about trade (whether products or services) are actually a mere transfer of energy, skill and expertise between people, with or without the medium of exchange. Even the one exchange medium (currency) we have all agreed upon, went through years of design with its very own history.
^ What’s the centre of a fishmonger, vegetable-seller, poultryman? A mere coincidence or a result of unnoticed marketplace design influenced by trade practice?
There I was, taking pictures with an iPhone, unknowingly capturing the ‘centrepiece’ used by these tradesmen. I’m quite sure they thought I might be obtaining proof of cleanliness (actually my mom said that). Looking at the photos, I question the legitimacy of my suspicion if we all have a ‘centrepiece’ that owes its design to elements and conditions surrounding a particular trade in our profession. If yes, how did it came by, and what will it change into?
A chef’s wok and spatula? An artist’s easel and paintbrush? An accountant’s book and calculator? A designer’s monitor and tablet (sketchbook and pencil)? Is there only one for each? Is the ‘centrepiece’ for creation or trade? What’s your very own ‘centrepiece’? Wanna’ know if others from your profession thought of their ‘centrepiece’ like you do?
We are all participating in different marketplaces, trading among ourselves using the ‘centrepiece’ of ours. Is it mere tools, skills or expertise that we exchange, or it comes with thoughts and opinions we brought along from what we do best?
^ Onions, layered, stored in a basket, used to weigh down the stand of a huge umbrella.