|Learn more about Harry B at TerritorialAirwaves.com|
|Learn more about Keola Beamer at http://www.kbeamer.com|
for Alaska Airlines Magazine May 2011
|Learn more about Harry B at TerritorialAirwaves.com|
|Learn more about Keola Beamer at http://www.kbeamer.com|
|Some of the chefs participating in the app|
Throughout decades she spent producing culinary series for PBS, and today as co-founder of the foodie-gathering website Share Your Table, the top question everyone asks Melanie Kosaka is where do Hawai’i’s chefs eat?
By Christine Thomas
When I reached Ms. Kosaka she told me: “We have not (yet) launched the West Coast version, but … on Sept. 30 we are launching one of the first locavore on-demand tv channels in the U.S. The channel is the video complement to http://www.shareyourtable.com/.” Can’t wait to see it!
|Ed Kenney at his Kaimuki restaurant Town|
This Sunday, June 13, I recommend visiting Na Mea Hawai’i: Native Books to hear a talk and readings from the 2010 Ka Palapala Po’okela Award-winning book Talking Hawaii’s Story.
Read more of my November 2009 review here.
Stereotyping Readers by their Favorite Hawai’i Author (or mainland author who has written about Hawai’i)
When I first read Lauren Leto’s deliciously evil list stereotyping readers by their favorite authors, I thought “someone should do this for Hawai’i.” Then, in a Twitter post, the lively and lovely Dawn from Honolulu’s Watermark Publishing nominated me to do just that, knowing nothing of my own thoughts. Duly encouraged, here I am a few months later with a list of my own.
Some will think this endeavor some measure of funny, boring, evil, unnecessary, silly and [fill in the blank]. But I had a lot of fun and laughed a lot while alone in my office brainstorming and compiling. And in the end, I managed to comprise a surprisingly long, stellar list of 50 Hawaii connected authors, and that’s not bad at all. (I apologize in advance if I’ve left anyone out–I merely listed everyone I could think of off the top of my head, and asked for recommendations on Twitter and LL and voila.)
Here they are in no particular order. Feel free to add to the list in the comments and forward the link. It’s all in good fun.
People from the mainland who’ve lived here “for more than twenty years.”
Disgruntled West O’ahu suburbanites
Expatriate kama’aina living in NYC
Lois Ann Yamanaka
People who lie about books they’ve read
Men who work in cubicles
Robert Louis Stevenson
Men with mustaches and canes
Folks you meet at Long’s (duh)
Eric Paul Shaffer
Guys born in the ‘70s who wish they came of age in the ‘60s
Lifeguards, surfers and beachcombers
Fierce 40-year-old women who are so over lunching
Women who wish their husbands were better in bed
People who think Maui No Ka Oi
Guys who frequent Waikiki dive bars
Jon Van Dyke
Akaka Bill supporters
Maxine Hong Kingston
Women in Lua training
Kaui Hart Hemmings
Punahou graduates (too easy)
Residents who want gambling legalized
Haruki Murakami (re Blind Woman, Sleeping Willow)
English majors who love jazz
People who have a timeshare in Kihei
Women who lie about having a timeshare
Cowboys (too easy)
People who believe he was born in Honolulu
James D. Houston (re Bird of Another Heaven)
Historical conspiracy theorists
People who don’t take pork over the Pali
People whose kids can’t go to Kamehameha
Profs who idolize Jane Goodall
Slam poets (too easy)
Girls who keep their journals locked and hidden
Nora Okja Keller
Foxy girls (too easy)
Stealth Hawaiians (and Menehune)
Boys who argue with English teachers about Hemingway
People who won’t admit they watch Korean Soaps
Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
Women without enough drama in their lives
Women who volunteer at historical societies
David Mitchell (re Cloud Atlas)
Journalists and writers
W.S. Merwin (re The Folding Cliffs)
Guys proving their sensitivity to their girlfriends
Lisa Lynn Kanae
Haunani Kay Trask
Bret Easton Ellis (re The Informers)
People whose heyday was in the ‘80s
John Dominis Holt
Hapa-haole Hawaiian art and culture experts
Mary Kawena Pukui
Kama’aina living on the other side of the Pacific
Heenan divides his profiles into three categories—crusaders, combatants and comeback kids—and draws not only from education but such genres as sports, the military, climbing, and corporate downfalls. While the tales are meant to in some way illuminate character traits and strategies for converting adversity into success, they are written as an intimate glimpse behind the scenes. “From these portrayals of people under duress,” Heenan promises, “you’ll discover the roadmaps for negotiating rugged terrain, guides for forging your own bright triumph.”
Yet he does highlight six specific strategies at the start, delving into more detail at the book’s close—a list that somewhat ironically ends with “start now.” And throughout each story, adages can be easily plucked, such as Kansas State football Coach Bill Snyder’s disciplined, “future oriented,” positive mentoring and ability to meld disparate folks into a team.
But even if you’re not looking for how-tos for overcoming adversity, and perhaps even better if you’re not, the profiles are most compelling for their almost fly-on-the-wall perspective and Heenan’s personal access to each individual. Joel Klein’s story riveted because of the potential for applying his education strategies to American schools at large. The details behind commander Scott Waddle’s confrontation of failure directly after his submarine sunk the vessel Ehime Maru, killing nine Japanese citizens, is particularly captivating, as is Gary Guller’s rise to climb Everest even after losing an arm, and Hawai’i’s own Steve Case development of his post-Aol revolution plans.
Only a few seem to teeter on the edge of success, such as the tale of the Native American teenage mother Sacagawea repeated rescue of Lewis and Clark throughout their expedition to the West—it seems a bright triumph only depending on one’s point of view. And when discussing UC Berkeley women’s basketball coach Joanne Boyle’s impressive perseverance, describing Cal sidetracks him and her portrait falls a bit flat. There are also times his prose meanders, as if we’re traveling synapse routes in his brain.
But above all, his either consciously or unconsciously Obama-like message of optimism and hope gives Heenan’s book far reach—unveiling remarkable lives and applicable winning strategies that, as he hopes, “carry the unmistakable accent of commitment and a willingness to act.”
I have had the pleasure of interviewing John about his work and what he’s up to a few times, and written about him for the now defunct Hawaiian Style and for Modern Luxury Hawai’i. I’ve included a long series of interview dialogue here since it’s sad to have this all in my files, hidden and unseen.
CT: You’re known for never building for a certain time period or trend—so how do you decide what building makes sense in a particular place?
JH: You begin with the site and the other important factors, and especially for institutional work there’s the program—how are these facilities going to be used. It’s got to be a combination of, first of all, a workable building in context with wherever this building is. For example, at the Art Academy, there’s a historic building there but the needs have evolved over the past 75 years, so to try and do a building based on the original building probably wouldn’t work. So we try to understand programmatically the present and future needs together with the historical context of the building. It doesn’t need to be a mirror image of what was built 75 years ago, but it needs to make sense. It’s also true in most of the work that we do that building form comes from where it is and what it’s used for, instead of selecting a form because you like the form and fitting whatever you have to fit into it.
CT: One of your recent projects was the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel renovation. How did you cope with the compromises that had to be made in a hotel and historic building?
CT: Some green architects and regulars will be upset that the rooms are now air-conditioned. What do you say to that?
JH: Ideally, sure, we’d like to be green and have natural ventilation. It was originally designed to natural ventilate and throughout years it was transformed and air-conditioning was installed. Technically you have to air-conditioning today because the louvers that allowed the fresh air to come in aren’t allowed because of current building codes. You want to, but you can’t. And from the hotel point of view, people who are going to spend that kind of money to stay there expect air-conditioning.
Similarly, we designed Case Middle School for natural ventilation and it works, but very few teachers open the windows. Interestingly, the students are asking the faculty to open the windows for sustainability. The kids picked up on the design and they are continuing in the curriculum to look at energy conservation throughout the campus.
CT: What’s your next project?
JH: We’re working on the UH West Oahu campus, in the middle of the old Ewa plantation. Obviously one doesn’t normally begin to design a new campus from scratch, so completed the design after about two years. This project has been in the works for 30 years in different forms, and I think the time has come and it will get built. But the principle design issue here is relating to the heritage of the Ewa plain, quite different from Manoa or Windward or Leeward O’ahu. There’s a gulch there and we are using that as a beginning and reinforcing the idea of an existing mark in the landscape. The orientation of the buildings are all north/south in the interest of sustainability. CT Note: I understand the building is slated to happen in 2011.
CT: Is there one word that describes your aesthetic?
JH: No. Each of these projects are quite different, so there is no one particular style that I like or do not like.
CT: If you were in charge of rebuilding Hawai’i, what would you build or tear down?
JH: That’s a hard question to answer because when you live in a place it will evolve and what we did yesterday is probably not valid for what we would do today; so in that sense it’s ever changing as an environment. But I do think it’s very important to be very careful about where our new developments are placed.
CT: What’s Hawai’i changing into?
JH: I think the whole issue of population density is going to make the most significant impact, and also the rail. I think environmentally, Honolulu has to be very mindful—a rail running along the ocean has a tremendous impact.
CT: What’s the go-to place in your house?
JH: The house itself, which is 75 years old and in an old, overcrowded neighborhood in lower Makiki. We’ve been there for a long time and are comfortable. It’s very small, so no particular room stands out. From the outside we just try to keep it appropriate to the neighborhood. Inside we’ve done some limited renovation. My wife is looking for architect—I’d do it but there are priorities.
CT: A lot of architects are perfectionists. What are you carefree about?
JH: In some things, of course, we have to be perfectionists, but not on everything. We have to be very careful when we design buildings. It should be precise and it’s hard to leave anything to chance. But in life, with time and with age one tends to become more and more tolerant of others’ opinions.
CT: Architects are said to have good handwriting, so what’s messy about you?
JH: Really?—I have horrible handwriting. I never thought they had better handwriting than anyone else.
CT: Your office is one of the busiest in town, but after work what’s your guilty pleasure?
JH: I was a musician before—one of my first jobs in high school was as the 4th oboeist in the Honolulu Symphony. So I spend down time listening to classical music, and when we travel we go to lots of performances. I don’t play now; I retired a long time ago. I played in the symphony for a while but it’s difficult to have two careers.
CT: Does architecture still inspire you, or will you retire soon?
JH: I opened my office in 1970, and I see no reason to stop now.
Not yet thirty years old, Kailua-born graphic designer Moses Aipa has journeyed far from his small-town beach upbringing. He’s ditched the niche surf motifs he experimented with on Apple design software as a Kamehameha high school student, developed a more universal design aesthetic, and as Creative Director of California-based Incase, collaborates with celebrities like John Mayer on logos, designs seamless cases for iPhones, iPods, Macbooks, and is in-the-know about every up-and-coming Apple product–after all, he has to design the cases for them.
“Growing up, I wasn’t so into design itself,” Aipa admits, “but I was always finicky and curious, taking things apart, putting them back together.” True to down-to-earth local style, Aipa doesn’t mention this attention to detail is also firmly planted in his genes—his cousin Ben Aipa’s family is well known for surfboard shaping and artwork—and is just as modest about his career success. “It just kind of happened. I always had a knack for organizing and keeping things in place, so it’s a natural fit.”
Since joining Incase in 2002 while a senior at the USF-CCAC, he’s quickly risen through the ranks from freelance brochure designer to directing photo shoots, sketching product and packaging concepts, and now driving the company’s next generation of fashionable, functional technology protection. “I’ve had my hands in everything,” says Aipa, including inventing Incase’s now signature logo and Topo design.
Something’s always new at Incase. This past Fall, they overhauled their nylon bag collection, introduced fresh case graphics like camouflage prints and new scales and combinations of the Topo print, and a seasonal color palette. But Aipa’s also watching trends toward hip and lively colors and no-logo and no-label fashion. “Brands like Muji and Uniqlo are on it,” he raves.
If he could create a gadget (and a case) for anything? “I wish I had a device to get me through airport security checks,” Aipa jokes, since he’s always traveling within California, back and forth to Hawai’i and Asia. Whatever the challenge, he’ll undoubtedly create a clean, simple, stylish solution. “If I have control over it, I’ll lay everything out in a visually pleasing manner. Right angles are king.”
I talked to Aipa at length for Modern Luxury Hawai’i magazine, but not much of our conversation fit into the article’s space. So below, check out a longer Q&A where Aipa reveals exactly how he got started and how he keeps on top of what’s new and hot.
C.T. You grew up in Kailua, so were beaches and waves your first design inspiration?
M.A. I got a good sense of design from nature in general, growing up outdoors and being in the water, hiking or outside with my family. Growing up, I wasn’t so into design itself but was a finicky kind of kid, taking things apart and putting them back together, or breaking things—more curious, so that led to an attention to detail.
C.T. How did you get from Kamehameha Schools to designing for Incase on the mainland?
M.A. I started taking design classes in high school–everything from screen-printing to ceramics in the more structure realm of learning about art. One of my art teachers recommended and I start playing around with Apple computers, designing on them as a junior/senior year—he promoted that and influenced me a lot to get into the software. That triggered my interest in actual graphic design—that was the turning point. I still was not so familiar with the actual profession—just logos and stuff.
Then I started applying to southern California colleges while in high school because they had surf teams. I made it into USF first and—and not others. So I went. They had a graphic design program and I thought, I’ll try it, and then they had a joint program with CCAC, so I started that. The first couple of years it was very surf inspired and Hawai’i waves and ocean—basically designing surf brands—but over time I recognized a universal design language rather than a niche surfing thing.
So in 4.5 years I transitioned to become an overarching universal designer recognizing simpler solutions for a variety of genres. It kind of just happened.
C.T. How did you get back into the bag/case niche?
M.A. A buddy who was freelancing at Incase during my senior year of college asked me to come in for some extra graphics help, so my first project was designing a brochure for the new collection. I started as a traditional graphic design laying out print collateral.
I always had a knack for organizing and keeping things ordered and in place it seemed a natural thing for me to work at a place where our goal is to provide solutions for people to carry their belongs and keep them together.
C.T. Are your Incase designs more about fashion or function?
M.A. What we’re trying to do is combine both on equal playing fields the idea of tech as lifestyle is what we focus on—that convergence. We are adding that fashion element to what we make for tech solutions.
C.T. How do stay ahead of what’s new and trendy?
M.A. We do a good amount of consumer research, talk to our customers and of course Apple has their own wants and needs, so we put those all together and go from there. A good amount is intuition, or we see what people aren’t doing and do that—we get creative.
C.T. Where are things going?
M.A. There’s the usual suspect—sustainable products. Gadget-wise, it’s toward the smaller and more powerful. I also think being able to sync and do everything on a smaller device whether email social networking or whatever you need. Within my market there seems to be an upward trend for more vibrant colors and hip and lively, but there’s also a trend toward a more timeless approach to fashion in general—no logos, no label apparel. Street culture is kind of going down. Brands like Muji and Uniqlo are on it, both from Japan. Japanese fashion is unreal, their trend-setting ways.
C.T. What’s the gotta-have-it gadget or accessory in the design crowd?
M.A. Definitely the iPhone, and not because I’m biased. Our entire company functions off Apple so based on connectivity and thinking it’s just so convenient. It’s a hugely useful tool, and it totally syncs. A iphone/laptop combo is what I and everyone here has.
C.T. What don’t you have a case for that you wish existed?
M.A. I’d create a surfboard case—coming full circle back to surfing. I usually find solutions for everything I need or have them make it. I can make do with what I have. If I had an entire house to organize I’d design my house around organizing everything I own.
C.T. Is everything at your house in a case?
M.A. Everything in my house is in a case or exactly where it needs to be. I’m pretty obsessed with grids and systems and how things are laid out, so everything around me, if I have control over it, is laid out in a visually pleasing manner. Right angles are king. A clean surrounding helps me think.
C.T. What do you wish you had a device for?
M.A. I wish I had a device that could get me through security checks, since I’m traveling so much these days—something to simplify that.
C.T. What’s your music soundtrack while at work?
M.A. I’m all over the place when it comes to music likings–everything from jazz, indie rock, top 40 hits, reggae, hawaiian, ambient, electronica, just not much country. It depends on my mood. Our company has its own last.fm site, a pretty good mixed plate of tunes: http://www.last.fm/user/goincase.
C.T. What are your HOTS?
M.A. Aloha shoyu; right angles; Hawaiian food at my parents’ house; Muji 0.38 ballpoint pens; Moleskine reporter-style grid notebooks; clothing with no logo; biking to work; Steel Pulse’s Smash Hits; Boot’s & Kimo’s banana mac pancakes with Portuguese sausage; the beach in the morning.
C.T. And your NOTS?
M.A. Security lines at airports; television; long pauses in conversations; my laptop’s spinning rainbow wheel; country music; shoes inside the house; 24-7 Bluetooth headset wearers.
–Interviewed and written by Christine Thomas, 2009