Foreword: For any newcomers, this is my 4th monthly newsletter in which I will hopefully give an insight into my practice, projects and inspirations.
After a month of ‘learn as I go’ coding, I finished what might be my cutest project yet. A game where you get to compare yourself to other people! Importantly, you can also see how other people judged themselves and see how we have unrealistic views of ourselves. The hope is you can learn a bit about yourself and the human condition or at least waste a few minutes. (Shout out to Jae, for his help)
Other than coding this month, I went on a Ken Loach binge (The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Land and Freedom & Riff Raff). I was left feeling both inspired and equally sad by the hope and vision of a different kind of society they portrayed , particularly the Dáil court scene from TWTSTB where the court rules in favour of a women in debt rather than the profit motivated money lender. It seemed to me that a running thread in both TWTSTB and LAF, was that compromise, especially the watering down of one’s values, quickly leads to an erosion of a political movement’s energy, morale and ultimately impact.
I then watched “The Street”, a documentary about the gentrification and community collapse of Hoxton, London. I have never felt so rightfully guilty and troubled by a documentary, as it clearly shows the effects of the lifestyle choices, people like myself (a designer and artist (a posh one at that)) have on lower-income people and communities. Since watching I have been thinking a lot about something said to me during my design education; everything in the world was designed by a designer. If this statement is factual it begs the question, are we as designers responsible for this arguable fucked-up context we live in?
To some extent, I think this is largely true. We design the beautiful interfaces on over social media platform that get you addicted, we design the slick user experiences for meal delivery companies that downplay the impact of the gig economy and we design the adverts for streaming services that don’t pay the artists we love. We don’t come up with dark business plans, we just make them pretty, easy to use, and trendy. How can we wake up, brush our teeth with a bamboo toothbrush, read the guardian and cycle to the studio, just to work on a really innovative campaign for Nike?
I think I can do better. Both in my art projects and my freelance work. I have an idea of where to start and I’ll keep you posted.
That’s all from me, hope you’ve enjoyed and have a great month.