Cubicle: a playground for digital creatives and slowness evangelists

It seems like Cubicle is a front runner in a counter movement of conscious content creators who wants to challenge us. Who demands time from us. Who wants us to taste the content we consume and not just swallow it. The Whoman Journal sat down with the creator behind. 

 

A few months ago a very passionate Shini Park and Simon Schmidt sat in front of me in a leopard printed couch. Our paths had crossed before, but they now spoke vividly of a new concept that would be part of changing how we communicate via the internet. 

 

I was intrigued.

 

Not only due to the fact that both Simon and Shini are extremely talented, and everything they touch are worth paying attention to, but also because of the larger movement that this new concept seemed to be part of. 

 

 

Cubicle is a modern and personal take on digital storytelling by Shini Park. Energized by visual curiosity and a singular point of view that celebrates craftsmanship, agility and humour, this is a collection of stories and objects carefully curated for our conscious audience.

 

 

 

‘Cubicle’ is an online abundance of visual magic and original storytelling. A place that tickles your inner aesthete but at the same time demands time from you.

 

This is not an invitation to “please scroll through and shut off your brain”, but rather a place that lets you question your most inner way of consuming while looking at really awesome stuff. Even I had to calm myself and focus on the many aspects of the site instead of just giving up and reaching for Instagram. 

 

But it is worth it. 

 

And it seems like Cubicle is a front runner in a new movement of conscious content creators. A counter movement of creative folk who wants to change the way we create and experience. And that might be (part of) why I enjoy it so much. For a long time social media, content and storytelling have continuously floated around optimizing speed. Who can move the quickest? Who can be first? Who can produce most? We expect our favorite influencers to post at least a few times a day while simultaneously letting us follow their every move on Instagram stories and questioning same moves. And that unavoidably leads to a twisted way of consuming. In my humble opinion. 

 

I am not saying that we should all switch to extremely slow WiFi and delete our Instagram while doing so, but I think I am saying that mindful and ambitious content creators are the next step in a world that so desperately needs to change the way we consume. In every way. We need to practice. We need to slow down and enjoy what we consume. And that is not easy in the impatient time that is now. If this image is not fully loaded in 1.3 sec then I am scrolling past it. But Cubicle might be a big step towards it.

 

The Whoman Journal sat down with founder Shini Park to learn more about the project we last spoke about in a leopard printed couch a few months ago. 

 

 

Give us the elevator pitch for Cubicle.  

 

Cubicle is essentially a playground for my team of artists, who are digital creatives. We collaborate and flex our storytelling muscles to each month’s theme, and while we’re a bi-monthly print publication by default, the sky is the limit.

 

How did it come to life? Why did you need to create Cubicle? 

 

It was a sort of natural progression. I suppose it was based on the current times and tendencies of social media, and my own career’s ‘metamorphosis’ (that’s the Issue 01 theme!) When I started in 2008, the landscape of social media, or digital presence/branding, was very different, if not a whole other universe. There was no monetisation, or ulterior motives, just simple passion-driven hobby communication.

 

I personally started my blog because I couldn’t afford the latest Alexander Wang bag and wanted to share DIYs of how I replicated something similar using a vintage bag and studs! Over time and different phases, I’m thankful to have given freedom and opportunities to hone a few skill sets that led me to building Cube Collective. Cubicle was a product of rebellion against the current fast-consumption digital world, a petition for slowness. Ultimately, it was also my way of claiming back editorial integrity, and building a ‘home sweet home’ platform that was mine and only mine, regardless of capricious algorithm. 

 

It is clear that you are on a mission to change digital communication and ways in the fashion industry: What are the main areas you are passionated about changing? 

 

The current speed of digital communication, and by extension, the fashion industry, promotes a very eco-unfriendly lifestyle, all-in-all. By this I mean, it’s quite literally environmentally harmful, due to the fast turnaround of stories and object value, but also mentally harmful to young, impressionable women and men growing up on storytelling and finding role models in all this noise. There needs to be a crop of ‘leaders’ (and not saying that this is me), that need to encourage the importance of reading/seeing, digesting, then being nourished. Otherwise it just goes from mouth to butt and we can all agree that’s not fun. 

 

Is there room in the fashion market for long, slow pieces? Are your followers responding well, or is there a sense of them having to readjust from fast Instagram communication? 

 

There is LOTS of room for long, slow pieces, but a lot less eyes. We ‘slowness’ evangelists however need to find a good balance of being able to promote this in the fast lane – which seems like an oxymoron but by yelling SLOW in the sidelines, no one will see. My own followers are incredibly curious, responsive, inquisitive, and most importantly, creative folk – so I’ve noticed a much more long-term effects on those who did bother to slow down and read the fine print. Changing a few, ‘powerful’ voices is more important than barely affecting a lot more. 

 

What is your five year plan for Cubicle? 

 

I have SO much in the pipeline when it comes to digital presence and interactive storytelling. We have plans on crossing over to the gaming, cinema and performance arts industry. Anything virtual is a YES too. The main goal – while this may seem a little trivial – is to generally come off the ‘influencer’ title.

My work in my agency as well as Cubicle means my time being a ‘face’ is very limited, and I frankly hate being painted by the same brush with that title. 

 

Lastly: Can you give us a short introduction to the team behind Cubicle? 

 

Of course! I look after the happiness (?) and wellbeing, and generally decide on editorial direction/motivation. We have Camilo Gonzalez, art director who is obsessed with Mariah Carey, Marian Nachmia my Fashion Editor-at-Large, the energy of the team, Simon Schmidt, my career baby and rising visual star, who manages editorial & social stories, Anna Holmfeld Project manager who keeps us all in check in the most fabulous fashion, Zana Wilberforce, my main researcher and copywriter. Then we have external teams DJ & Taher, magicians of the web, Emarr Kihomano, who writes beauty in our films… and a slew of family across the globe, whom we activate for various projects! 

 

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