By Dipika Kohli

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Why zines?

In an age where the internet can confuse and lie to us, 'zines' (xeroxed short publications we make ourselves and give our friends) give us a tangible grip on the *here and now*, and remind us that at the end of the day, *we* get to create and write our own stories: the stories of our lives, the stories that remind us who we are.

Here is an example. It is one of the first ones of the series. It's S P A C E | Kyoto, 'One Moment Cafe,' a collaboration with artist Kan Tomizawa. He makes very colorful papers, some of which are clipped to the four-zine limited edition set pictured here: 

S P C | Kyoto, 'One Moment Cafe' by Kan Tomizawa and Dipika Kohli. Phnom Penh, 2017 / Photo: DK


9.2020  // ATELIER S PA C E | HO CHI MINH CITY. Currently DK is based in this amazing city. Long story. But yeah. For the Autumn, a new set of works is in progress, in collaboration with photographer Van Tran.

Van Tran is the feature artist for our 15 September issue of S P A C E (above).

A new language and a new culture notwithstanding, DK's plan for Autumn 2020 is to continue to do as DK does. Namely, to design and host experiential workshops. In which those who opt-in to take part can experience... something different. Making space for comfort, and play.

Studio day. Ho Chi Minh City, September 2020 // Photo: Van Tran.

Earlier this year we had a chance to test what it might be like to work across language and culture differences. In June, DK met people and co-created a special issue, our first Vietnamese-language issue, of S P A C E. The lead story, 'A Discovery of Myself,' is by Trang Le.

We also included other voices and even a selfie from one of our events. 'Start with Something Simple' is the title of the issue, which came right out of one conversation with one of the guests at our popup installation series in Dalat.

Image by Dinh Ngo with digital processing by DK / Dalat, Vietnam 2020

9.2020 // SAN FRANCISCO. We'll be participating in the San Francisco Zine Festival in September. It's a virtual show. We'll be talking with people on a call on 22 September about the what, how, and where (lately), of our zine.

/ San Francisco, 2014

2.2020 // MELBOURNE. DK's zines were at the Festival of the Photocopier in Melbourne in February, 2020, thanks to collaboration with Nicki Duncan. This is the issue, S P C | Melbourne, 'Festival of the Photocopier Special Edition:'A co-created zine by Nicki Duncan, Nils don Sihvola and Dipika Kohli / February 2020

We make zines, not books, because zines are simple to produce, easy to print and distribute, anywhere, and also, because they're not too 'finished.' Sharing the process, too. As each zine is being made, you can see how it's getting built, added to, changed, iterated on. All of that is embedded in the project, too. Exploring together. Permission to play.

Letting your guard down. Not being afraid to show up, and make a few blunders, along the way. It's all for the sake of discovering. Together. Why wait to share what a thing is becoming until it's a more 'polished' version of itself? That would change it. Why not just show as you go the honest, raw, and very personal instead of hiding behind veneers? This is the feeling, here, as we write, share, (and sometimes re-work) every week our mini-magazine.

Feature artists..

We've been creating new issues to spotlight artists, designers, and writers in our weekly magazine. Here are a few examples.

In order, they are the cover designs of issues of S P A C E with: typeface designer Pilar Cano; digital processing whiz Nils don Sihvola whom we met in Latvia; musician-writer Michael Bridgett, Jr. who collaborated closely with DK in Phnom Penh in our early stages of concepting S P A C E; bookshop manager and photographer Napisa Leelasuphapong whom we were very lucky to get to meet through a series of introductions in Bangkok; and the timeless poet-artist Ilyas Kassam

Pilar Cano

Nils don Sihvola

Michael Bridgett, Jr.

Napisa Leelasuphapong

Ilyas Kassam

All of them were open to sharing and discovering, together, with us, 'the story,' as it emerged organically, at a natural pace. That's why these issues are so much fun, for us to make and share.

They're not just pieces of paper or digital 'content.' They're art. That's because they're the documentations of real feelings of connexion, of real exchanges. Conversations emerge. DK puts the best of the very best ones into issues of our weekly e-mag, S P A C E.

In real life..

A popup installation in Phnom Penh. Photo: DK / February 2020

Zines at Robert's Books in Riga, Latvia // Photo: DK, July 2019

'Art of the Zine' popup by DK in Kuala Lumpur, Sept. 2018 // Photo: Muhd Muqhriz

Zines at the Oulu Arts Festival and a zinemaking workshop, at Kahvila Tuokio. Oulu, August 2018 // Photo: DK

Zines at the Festival of the Photocopier. Melbourne, February 2020 // Photo: Nicki Duncan. Nicki also made the video example of how to make S P A CE at home, which you can see when you click the play button on the image at the top of this page.

Every week..

LEARN. DK publishes S P A C E every Tuesday at 7AM USEST. Read each week's issue to discover what DK finds curious, intriguing, amusing, betwitching, beguiling, endearing, or just cool. We share only the best of what we uncover, in the field, moving around, in real life or networking through the cloud to find people making stuff who are, we feel, sincere. Sharing that, and just that. No ads. No endorsements. No BS. 100% crowdfunded, right here. 

EXPERIENCE. DK's Dipika Kohli worked as a staff editor and designer for two newspapers, over four years. One was a weekly in southwest Ireland. And the other was a daily in Seattle. During these years, she was a professional photographer, designer, reporter, editor, and content curator. After that, she co-founded Design Kompany and made brand identity designs for mostly architects and other process-oriented people from 2006-2014. This happened while DK was based in: Seattle, Durham NC, and Phnom Penh. Her composite range of skills and experiences now goes into the making of S P A C E every Tuesday. 'With and for others, we design. And we play. Let's get started. Let's converse?'

PARTICIPATE. S P A C E quests S P A C E. Are you curious? Be a part of it when you subscribe or join one of our online projects. Check out 'Papers', for example, which starts again in December 2020.


A. Spaice
Design Kompany

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Team Members

Dipika Kohli


Jas Plac

Michael Bridgett, Jr.

Nils don Sihvola

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