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Tari likes her meetings labeled
The Debrief with Clara Sovia Lestari, digital product designer
Welcome to The Debrief, the Monday edition of this newsletter where I ask people to share their burning thoughts and interests. If you’re wondering whether I skipped writing all of last week, you’re not wrong. I had to take a sick week after, I don’t know, having too much coffee and drinking too much spicy food? My two kryptonite. But I’m back.
This week, I catch up with an old colleague, Tari. We first met at my old workplace’s creative marketing department, where she was researcher and I was editor. Since then, both our paths have sort of taken parallel turns as we both eventually “pivoted” into the product design side of things, where she became interaction designer and I product copywriter. I’m using terms the company uses to label these roles internally, although it seems both “interaction design” and “product copywriting” are called so many different things these days as both practices continue to evolve.
Working in tech can be so full of intense routines sometimes that, in my experience, I’d always crave for spaces where I could feel most human within its systems. Meetings with Tari were always be that: a nice little exhale, a place to not know, even (and perhaps especially) when the ~user problems~ at hand required heavy thinking. While I write this from my little non-tech bubble over a year since I was last in a “sprint meeting”, I wanted to talk to Tari to peek into her world, both within and away from the many design projects I’m sure currently demands her attention.
Tari is a digital product designer for one of Indonesia’s leading online travel booking platforms and a fan.
What’s an unpopular opinion that you feel strongly about?
I can’t relate with people who actually believe in astrology. I did read about it to see what it’s all about but the more I learn, the more it seems like cocoklogi (sorry 🙏). I talk about astrology from time to time for fun, but I can’t understand when people seriously believe that there’s a connection between what’s happening in their life with the position of planets and stars. I just don’t get it.
What’s something you’re currently obsessed with?
I’m currently watching this Korean TV show called “The Dictionary of Useless Human Knowledge”. It’s kind of a talkshow featuring six fixed casts of varying backgrounds — two hosts (a film director and a musician) and four panelists (a physicist, a novelist, a forensic scientist and professor, and an astronomer) — who would discuss their way through a range of topics.
Each episode starts with a simple prompt. For example, the prompt would ask “Who’s someone you’d like to give an award to?” and the cast would each contribute an answer, discussing who their candidate would be, what they did, interesting facts about their life. Now that I’m writing this, the show might seem pretty boring, LOL, but because the cast all come from different backgrounds, and they are all so smart, eloquent, and funny, any trivial prompt could turn into a long winded discussion, sometimes straying from the initial prompt. And since they’re experts across different areas, they naturally add unique perspectives to a range of topics.
Fun fact, the show itself runs around 90 mins per episode, but each episode supposedly takes 12 hours on average to film. It first aired in December 2022 and I started watching git then, but they only have eight episodes and I’m trying my best to savor them.
The other day a friend introduced me to the idea she read from a blog that there are different types of meetings that serve different purposes, and that each of these meetings have different names. For example, there are cadence meetings (the goal of which is to keep people in the same team accountable to the plan), catalyst meetings (to unblock teams and make decisions), and context meetings (oriented towards increasing shared perspective and/or connection).
The fact that there are different kinds of meetings should be obvious but I never really thought of the significance of giving them names, or even creating a sort of template to make the meeting-planning easier and more efficient. Having to sit through many meetings in my day job (which can give you existential crises), I’m really intrigued to learn more about this and to see if I can add more structure to the meetings at work.
I recently stumbled upon this website called Monobility while looking up a painting by Korean abstract artist Kim Whanki, “Where, and in What Form, Shall We Meet Again?”. I’m not sure how to describe the site, but it has articles about pretty random topics, mostly on the topic of culture, accompanied by beautiful pictures, which I assume are taken by the writer, who is Korean. What hooked me is that while it’s predominantly English, the writer often talks about the Korean language ands sometimes includes Korean phrases and words in their writing. They’d also sometimes have explanations or even fun trivia about the language, and since I’m currently learning Korean I find the website really fun!
Who’s someone you think more people should know about?
There’s this YouTube account called Bread Story (@pan.monogatari), which uploads videos of various bakeries and bakers in Japan. If you’re someone like me who likes bread and enjoys watching people working on their craft, I highly recommend this channel.
What’s a life hack or advice that recently changed your life?
Since I live alone, sometimes I don’t bother with doing my dishes right after using them. But a friend who also lives alone once mentioned that if you don’t do your dishes right away, chances are you won’t do it until much later and they will have accumulated by the time you finally do it. Since then I’ve made a diligent effort to always wash my dishes right after I use them, and it turns out seeing the sink empty, especially in the morning, puts me in such a good mood.
In order to keep your broccoli fresh longer, you can cut the stems from the stalk, wash and rinse them thoroughly, then keep them in a container lined with tissue paper.
What are you most excited about in the coming weeks?
Taking a (online) voice acting course!
This idea was brought to me by a friend who recently started taking voice acting lessons. I didn’t know such a thing existed, but now I’m intrigued. I have this habit of reading books out loud when I’m alone, complete with intonations, which triggered a distant desire to read for audiobooks. But I’m not looking into trying to do this professionally or anything; just wanted to try something new.
The Debrief is the Monday installation of this newsletter. Visit past Debriefs with Ula who is not a sapiosexual, Rocky who thinks about the Byzantine Empire daily, Erin who nerded out about Asean , Avi who talked about gatekeeping and Vero who hates ambient music. On Wednesdays, I tend to publish essays. On Fridays, I send out a brief pleasure list.