Now and Then: Embracing the Perpetual Movement

nwnthn
3 min readAug 7, 2023

Now and then, a creative design and development lab was born from a fascination with moments — those bookmarks in our minds that capture the essence of our lives. People often wonder why I chose to call it “nwnthn” and why it’s spelled in such an unconventional way. The answer lies in the perpetual nature of life, where we effortlessly transition from the now to the then.

As human beings, we encounter both major and unique moments that leave lasting impressions on us. Some of these memories are universally expected — the first time we experience something, the first of its kind. Yet, each of us carries distinct moments that remain close to our hearts, whether they be joyous or challenging. Some we choose to share, while others remain tucked away, cherished for personal reflection.

For me, “now and then” represents a continuous flow of existence. It’s an acknowledgment that we’re constantly in the present moment, engaging in thought-provoking processes, and then swiftly moving forward to the subsequent phase. I wanted these very characteristics to be the foundation of my creative practice — an embodiment of perpetual movement and service to our city and the people it holds dear. The present is a time for living, questioning, and ideating, while the subsequent “then” offers a space for learning, observing, and hoping that our endeavours have enriched the world around us.

In this ever-changing world, nothing is truly permanent. The moments of wonder we experience are fleeting, and the architectural creations we introduce aren’t meant to stand the test of time forever. Instead, they serve as bookmarks in the larger narrative of our lives, reference points for what comes next. “nwnthn” embraces the concept of being content with being a mere moment, a backdrop, and a version 1, knowing that its impact might extend far beyond its physical existence.

Sentimentally, my parents affectionately called me “nao,” which sounds a lot like “now” when pronounced. While I initially resisted the idea of naming the lab after myself, this endeavor was more significant than just me. Nonetheless, I decided to leave a subtle remnant of myself within “nwnthn,” acknowledging the personal connection and the profound journey that has led me to this point.

This creative pursuit has taken numerous forms, much like how we, as individuals, evolve and grow. I’ve read and researched, but the true essence of “now and then” lies in its embodiment of action. It’s an idea that doesn’t truly take shape until you take that brave step forward. And so, I embrace the perpetual movement, embracing the present, and propelling forward to the unknown “then” — where the magic truly happens.

Now and then, life gifts us the opportunity to transform our ideas into reality, but we must be willing to embrace the journey and venture into the unknown. The future remains unwritten, but through the perpetual dance between “now and then,” creativity finds its purpose.

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