Co-authored with Jason Page for Strange Attractors
for their book Blended Published.:
There is No Way to Charlie Yogurt / Charlie Yogurt is The Way.*
If design frames life, and design education forms the future, then Charlie Yogurt has missed the memo.
Charlie Yogurt has always been Charlie Yogurt; it has only been people's perception of him that has changed in time. Mostly during times of trouble and confusion some begin to understand that they need someone like him. In times of change they understood why, and in times of success they forgot him rapidly, or at least remember only a distorted version of him. And through it all, Charlie was and is who he will always be: Charlie Yogurt.
There are no titles (and even fewer images) to describe Charlie Yogurt, he is best defined by his values. His most admirable attribute is that he is a human. A genuinely connected and caring man is what makes him so refreshing. He’s the unassuming quality-giver to a fast world with no values or traditions. However, he’s not the fantasy that we’re all free to live in — bubbles inside of bubbles — he is a fantasy unaffected by trends, and by fear, and everything we allow ourselves to be influenced (molded, swayed, altered) by. He is just human.
In Charlie Yogurt’s search for his place in the world, he does not look for one big answer, because already in the decision to start searching there lays failure. Instead, he does so step by step, slowly and steadily without ever having chosen to do so. In this way, Charlie Yogurt is like a steadfast tortoise, and while others struggle with what they think has to be done, he just does it. Life is hard so you make music, and Charlie Yogurt beats on. If he were more vocal, he might tell you to strip away what you know (judgments, fear, nostalgia, value, preoccupations, Facebook) and the right questions will come by themselves. Questions aware of the now and long lasting; the essential sense that he functions on. Unfortunately, Charlie Yogurt will not speak up and if you have to ask, you’ll never know.
Eventually, people will try to find new names for what Charlie is for them. They will call for a prophet, a savior, the master plan, but already from the moment of their slightest realizations, they will be years too late. Charlie Yogurt has been consistently Charlie (since at least 1989) with sincere human values, because he was always there. Although you will never hear him call his work honest or humble, because with that, Charlie would admit that he is not honest or humble by nature. For him, there is little effort to start actions in the right way and he doesn't look for work or to help (but always ends up doing both in the end).
Charlie Yogurt is a simple but profound person who doesn't try to make sense of the world or himself, but sees things as they are and acts. Call it fearless, call it naïve, he doesn't know or recognize the distinction, but this is exactly why he is so refreshing. You will still probably ask, who the hell is Charlie Yogurt, and you are not alone in doing so. He has never been in the scene, but he is the answer. The unsung hero, the reason why, the essential sense, the egg, the coffee, and the bacon.
*Charlie felt uncomfortable about us using this title, but the author felt it was the best choice.