The Philosophical Examination of Social Media and Intentional Design

Recently, I finished a course called Building Social Media Relationships, at McMaster University.

It was meant to be a beginner’s guide to understanding and fostering relationships in these mediums. The class itself was good and after I’d often hear those catchy metaphors (Stoke the campfire! or Don’t feed the trolls!) we learned, play over in my head. However, despite my understanding of the concepts, and having some experience managing social media professionally for a company, I still struggled…

I often asked myself, why is creating the content so hard? I know the tools- all of the yada yada of when to post, how to make a catchy title, reimagining content for different platform, being ethical and all that jazz…. But really, why is it so hard?

I see the internet as this place where the idea that life is like drawing without an eraser, becomes more real than ever.

From my personal observation what I’ve found with so many people who use social media, is they forget to step back and ask why am I doing this? What is the purpose of broadcasting? So often, we see ideas get thrown out there with no plan or strategy. People using Twitter or other platforms, to tell us about brushing their teeth or sharing bad selfies (*insert my shudder here). On the other extreme, we see people pushing their self-brand with a laser focus 24/7, 365. Always posting new schemes for revenue, whether it be through seminars, on-line training, e-comm., or being a brand affiliate for a tooth whitener, it’s honestly comical.

And then I think- that’s exactly why creating content for social media is so hard. Knowing the reality of poor content that people consume, is exactly why I feel an ever greater responsibility. It rests on my shoulders to create something great, that even if I am sharing something about plants or say bath towels- it must be with purpose.

And that is intentional design.

What do you think? Do you ever feel this way about the state of our content in the realm of social media?



The Picks No. I

Hey everyone!

Want to know what I’m loving? Here are The Picks, for this week.

  • Debbie Millman’s podcast, Design Matters. She interview designers, cultural leaders and creative geniuses from around the world. Listen here to her interview with Joe Hollier, it’s soo good!
  • Australian Design. Their design scene is bursting with beautiful and functional ideas. This kitchen is a great example of intentional design.
  • Halifax Donair. How have I not tried one before?!  It’s kinda hard to describe. Like a souvlaki, except they swap out the tzatziki for this sugary-sweet sauce. If you’re in Burlington or Milton, you need to try one.
  • Ever since I watched A Film About CoffeeI’ve felt the need to revamp my caffeine setup. This pour-over set by Hario looks amazing. Does anyone have any experience with this brand?
  • Spring is here! I’m in the mood to dress up my balcony. Don’t you just love these planters from West Elm?

Now it’s your turn. What are your favourites from the week?



Tom Ford: On-Screen to The Director’s Chair

Before becoming the hugely successful Creative Director for the fashion houses of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford had another dream.

Tom Ford shot by Christopher Makos, at Andy Warhol’s ‘Factory‘, during his acting days.

Shortly after moving to NYC to study Art History at NYU, he worked as a commercial actor. Even as a young child, growing up in West Texas, Tom could vividly remember wanting to be on-screen. He studied the stars of the silver screen and knew that he wanted to be one of them. Ask any fashion enthusiast that saw how he transformed the then-dreary house of Gucci in the 90’s into one that oozed over-the-top sexuality and glamour;  and it’s plain to see he is master of theatricality, harkening back to the Golden Era of Hollywood.

In Tom’s acting days, he used to book lots of jobs and at one point he was one of the most in-demand tv commercial actors. Despite his success, he never felt comfortable in front the camera. In an interview, he once said that he couldn’t relax and just take on the character. He would go on set and think, ‘the lighting, the scene it’s all wrong…and I could do this better’. Hearing about his struggles,

In an interview, he once said that he couldn’t relax and just take on the character. He would go on set and think, ‘the lighting, the scene it’s all wrong…and I could do this better’.

Hearing about his struggles, I felt I could relate to his experience. Many years ago, I found my way into modelling. I started working during high school, doing some shoots here and there. But after my first year of university, I decided to dive-in head first and pursue it full time.  

I loved being in these big cities, like Paris and the feeling that you could be around these creative people…

That was a great feeling; however, what I realized, is that I never totally felt loose enough to be on camera. I don’t think I pinpointed it as quickly as Tom, but I think deep down I wanted to be the one directing. I always had these thoughts or opinions and it was difficult- because as a model- you’re role is to play a character- the one the photographer has set for you.

Originally, one of the main reasons why I became a model was the opportunity to get closer to, to touch and to feel and to be a part of that dream world that I had always dreamt about. 



On location in Marrakech, Morrocco. Shot by Stephane Gautronneau

In fact, I remember after one particularly long shoot, my agent told me that the casting director thought that  I wasn’t right for the editorial. Despite that, she chose me anyway because she liked my creative input.

That’s what I like about being creative- the ability to create.

Like Tom, I have a high need for autonomy. I need to feel like I can create something authentically- that is, without limitations. Of course, certain constraints can actually lead to creativity, but the feeling that you are in control of your creation; whether that is writing an article or building a brand.

The ability to put a stamp on something and be able to authentically say that this is yours, 100%, that is the ultimate.

This is why I created the Suburban Curator. I want to direct a story for you all, through my lens…

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. What do you think about roles in creative fields? Do you think the process should be a collaboration? Or can too many opinions destroy the vision?

Please chime in, I’d love to hear your thoughts!





The Muses: The Lady that ‘Sparked’ my Interest

Over the years, I have closely followed and collected the works of various design, beauty and home experts which I refer to as The Muses. I want to share the work of these individuals and how it has influenced my way of thinking about the home.

In the search to find inspiration to declutter, I bought a book by Marie Kondo, an organizational guru from Japan. I didn’t know much about her other than some of the reviews bloggers had about her book. Little did I know this would transform into much more than just decluttering my things, but rather my life.

The New York Time’s Bestseller for 2015, Marie Kondo hit the scene hard and caught North America’s attention, like wildfire, and started a phenomenon to ‘spark joy’. Her message is simple, the process of tidying is not merely about deciding what to keep and what to throw away. Once we truly put our things in order, we by the process put our lives in order. It forces self-discovery through reevaluating the things we own and the spaces we live in.


Natsuno Ichigo via Terrain

While she may be a bit fanatical, with her thanking her plants for the enjoyment they provide or only wearing white when in public; her message resonates with me. She has influenced me to think long and hard before making arbitrary purchases.

This is what the Suburban Curator embodies-intentional design.

What do you think about the KonMari method? Does she inspire you? I’d love to hear who inspires you!


*Stay tuned for more of The Muses series, where you can read about my other personal influences. 



Hi, I’m the suburban curator. I like to collect things- bring them into my home and transform them into a gallery, so to speak. According to Wikipedia, the root of a curator in Latin means to take care. this blog is about intentional design. Making choices to keep and collect only the things that spark joy…