July 24, 2013
“What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating?” Young Guns, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman challenge relationship norms when they partake in a project to date only each other for 40 days. Sounds like a romance and/or disaster waiting to happen.
ADC: Are you happy that you did this project?
Timothy Goodman + Jessica Walsh: Very much so. It challenged both us to confront issues that we swept under the rug a long time ago. And because of that, it has allowed us to rethink the way we approach and handle any relationship moving forward.
ADC: The website vaguely discusses why this project came about, but how did it, e.g., what planning was involved?
Timothy: It was a small idea I had about a year ago, but I didn’t really know the ‘what’ or the ‘how.’ Then one day on our way to Miami for Art Basel—when Jessie was heart broken about a guy, and I was dating too many girls at once—it became crystal clear. We ran with the idea, and it really became something entirely different after that.
Jessica: We were waiting in line for egg sandwiches at a deli in JFK en route to Art Basel when Tim mentioned an idea he had for a dating project. I instantly felt that doing a personal project around relationships was a great idea. We started throwing crazy, nutty ideas back and forth during the plane ride, and by the time we landed in Miami we had a pretty elaborate and crazy plan for "40 Days of Dating."
ADC: Why 40 days?
Timothy + Jessica: The old adage goes, it takes 40 days to change a bad habit. The number 40 is common among many cultures and religions: In Judaism, rain fell for forty days and forty nights during the flood; the period from the resurrection of Jesus lasted 40 days; an Arabic proverb explains, "To understand a people, you must live among them for 40 days."; and of course, Josh Hartnett didn’t masturbate for 40 days in that one movie.
ADC: How did you approach design and branding?
Timothy + Jessica: It was important to us that 40DD have an identity, but it wasn’t until the project was over that we designed the site, shot the videos, photographed our items, asked for lettering contributions, etc. We wanted to approach the project with as much honesty as possible, first.
We worked in tandem to finish everything. None of it was possible without the amazing help of our website developer, Eric Jacobsen, as well as Santiago Carrasquilla and Joe Hollier who shot and edited all the videos. Furthermore, we are extremely honored to have so many talented friends and colleagues contribute to a typographic piece everyday.
ADC: What were you thinking the night before you started dating?
Timothy: I remember feeling nervous about it. I tried to distract myself by going on a date. Which didn’t really work, because she and I talked about this project the entire time.
Jessica: I was conflicted and very nervous about the experiment. I have a crazy schedule and I wasn’t sure how I’d fit this in. I also feared losing a great friend. On the other hand, I also kind of hoped that’d it’d all work out for the best and we’d end up together in the end.
ADC: Besides you two and your therapists, who knows how it ends?
Timothy + Jessica: Our friends know what happened, but we’re definitely trying to keep our lips closed until the end!
ADC: How have you kept this a secret?
Timothy + Jessica: Well, it’s not like we’re covering up the Watergate scandal. Friends and colleagues knew that we were doing the project, but they didn’t know how intensive and elaborate we were going to make it.
ADC: What do you hope a fan of this project gains from following it?
Timothy + Jessica: Having the boundaries of a project allowed us to take on the challenge of really exploring our habits and fears within relationships. It’s been difficult, but also very liberating to release it to the public. Our individual stories, issues and approaches aren’t very different from a lot of folks. We knew that if we were going to do it, we had to go the full distance. We’re happy that people are connecting so much to it.
ADC: By Day Six, we see that ADC is a place that you frequent often. Anything else you would like to tell the ADC Community?
Timothy + Jessica: Don’t be afraid to take a risk…. on a design project, or a relationship!
Can’t wait forty days and forty nights? Keep apprised of behind the scenes stuff by following Jessica or Tim on Twitter or friending Jessica or Tim on facebook. Stay tuned for our follow up interview after the project is revealed in its entirety!
If you’re a member and want to share your story, upcoming event or a new project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!