Being able to grasp scale

Water

I think so often when dealing with world issues like famine, poverty, illiteracy – the problems is not being able to comprehend the scale of the situation. What does 1.2 billion people without clean drinking water actually mean? And the more intangible the issue, the less one feels able to do something about it. These infographics all use the idea of ‘If the world was a village of 100 people..’ to scale down the numbers and make the problems tangible. Great use of design to explain a problem. Next step: Simple tangible steps towards removing the problem.

Trekstock.com launches via Yarned

trekstock

Although I’m now working at Wieden + Kennedy London, I’m spending one day a week working for Yarned, a company I’ve started up which focuses on doing work for non-commercial projects and organisations. As part of this, working together with Maek, we’ve just launched the new site for Trekstock, raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust through organising music events. Its a great organisation, and we were happy to provide what support we could through building their digital presence with the design skills of Maek.

Have a look at the site, and do what you can to help out.

Digital Fetish

I have an old paperback copy of Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach sitting on my bookshelf that’s torn to bits. It’s missing its cover and the spine is falling apart. When the spine finally disintegrates, I’ll probably just use a rubber band to hold it together. Trying to read the book in this state would be impossible, yet it’s one of my prized possessions because of its connection to a point in my life, like a tattoo made of wood pulp.

I still have this same attachment to offline, in fact, it seems to increase the more and more i spend online. I wonder if its a generational thing, as we maybe the last batch of humans who will make a distinction between offline and online. Can you build the same emotional attachment to a tatty Kindle from your university years? Does content and container seperate? Focus on the story and its meaning, more than the object which contains the words? If we lose the emotional connection to the tactile, will we lose feeling in our fingers? Why hasn’t my coffee cooled enough for me to drink it yet?

Read “The Transient, Digital Fetish”