Big Gifts in Small Packages – December 2018 Newsletter

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EmBark Blog

Big Gifts in Small Packages


Probably our smallest installation ever just occurred in ASU’s largest building.  The plaques on the Levine Hall wall of appreciation are crafted from Bark House wood slabs and bark tiles – healthy materials!  A central theme of the building project is written on one of the plaques: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop”  As a registered nurse and business owner, I would assert that this statement encompasses the powerful driver and differentiator behind good health care and an important first step in good process and good design.

This seems an appropriate introduction and a reasonable time of year to explore the central theme of kindness.  The Dalai Lama said “My religion is kindness” which is to say that his life’s practice was to practice at being kind.  The intentional development of kindness has two important elements, while its authentic expression in an innate capacity of almost all humans.

The two elements include internal locus of control and external considering.  Design is a natural expression of internal locus of control or the belief that we know something of ourselves, have power over our lives and can influence our outcomes as well as the world around us.  External considering enhances the practice of design by taking “the other” into account.  This includes people obviously but also includes nature, historical precedent and context.  Understanding ourselves and others is often rigorous work.

Where does the innate capacity of kindness …


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Fifth Graders in Quincy, MA explore eco-friendly products for the home.
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“Bark Season” coincides with the Summer break from high school and university, so we hire a percentage of returning students each year for our team.  At the end of each season, we meet and ask for feedback on what these students see as ways we can support them better and grow our company.  The feedback is invaluable as a fresh set of eyes with youthful perspectives are given.
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