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HUMAN BY WONDERLAND #6
A newsletter about design and creativity, and how they contribute to a better world.
Welcome to Edition 6 of HUMAN. Within this edition, you’ll find our latest thought leadership article about how the pandemic shifted our view of the office, and what this means for us moving forward. We’ll also share our favourite bits of the internet for the last three weeks, deep dive into two solutions that highlight the impact of our digital lives on the internet, and look at some cool aesthetic design.
If you have time at the end, we’d love it if you could spare a minute or two to fill out the survey at the bottom and let us know what you think of HUMAN!
Our reimagined approach to office life
The pandemic has disrupted the world in countless ways, from how we work and live, to how we socialise and relax. For the WONDERLAND team, we’ve tried to lean into the skid as much as possible, and to adapt new business practices that build off the strangeness of the new normal, rather than fight them. To that effect, we’ve restructured our approach to the office, and reimagined our relationship with it, and the expectations placed on our team.
Scientists have designed programmable pasta to cut down on packaging.
Nike’s sustainable gear is Tokyo bound, giving sustainability without sacrifice.
Learning ABC American sign language through gamification and AI.
It’s often the small details in design that can have the biggest impact.
Offices are reopening, but employees are reluctant to return. Why?
An AI analysis of 800 companies has found that greenwashing is the norm.
COVID-19 has hurt green energy efforts due to the rise of WFH.
The Da Vinci DC100 electric bike can reportedly self-balance and follow you.
A virtual tour of the world’s standout fashion boutiques.
Environmental focus; Digital solutions
Even as we write this edition of HUMAN, three natural disasters of unknown proportions are wreaking havoc across three different parts of the world.
Europe (DE, NL, BE) have seen astronomical flooding that have killed over a hundred people and wiped out infrastructure across the three countries. In Germany alone, 1,300 people are unaccounted for. In China, flooding has struck the Henan province and seen over 100,000 people evacuated in Zhengzhou alone as rail and road links were disrupted. Further warnings have been issued as dams and reservoirs swell to dangerous levels, and thousands of troops are being deployed to aid in the rescue operations. And in the USA, the so-called Bootleg fire has burned its way through 364,000 acres of land, making it one of the largest fires in Oregon history.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. We are WAY past the point of denial when it comes to climate change. The past week of natural disasters alone should have made this clear to see. Almost all industries have an impact, including digital, and as the situation continues to worse, the need for action becomes increasingly critical.
One thing that we can all do to make a difference is to simply clear our inboxes. Thanks In Advance is a self-initiated project from Anyways Creative that seeks to educate and inform people about the impact having a cluttered inbox has on the environment. By breaking the impact down to the individual level and converting the relative energy used into relatable examples, they clearly show how much energy each of us use simply storing unneeded emails. For example, a single inbox holds an average of 10,000 emails. The yearly energy required to maintain this storage is the equivalent of powering 40 lightbulbs for an hour, running a hot shower for 4 minutes, or driving 212 meters. Now, if we extrapolate this out by 1,000,000 inboxes, the energy expended is enough to use the shower and fill 13.7 Olympic swimming pools, to light up the Eiffel tower for 12 weeks, and to drive around the Earth 5 times. You see where this is going? To take it a step further, all the inboxes in the world use enough energy annually to drive to the sun and back. Five times! We’ll leave it with you to explore the impacts and learn more from Thanks In Advance.
Clearing an inbox is something we can all do with ease, but it only goes so far towards reducing the carbon footprint of our digital lives. Another example of changes we can make is reimagining our approach to digital design. Organic Basics have created a beautiful, yet low-impact, website to sell their clothes. Built off the fact that data transfers require electricity, which in turn create carbon emissions, they’ve developed a website that reduces data transfers by up to 70%, in comparison to their regular website. To do this they’ve stripped back to bare basics. The Low Impact website doesn’t load images unless specifically requested by the user, adapts to reflect the amount of renewable energy available to run the site, informs users of the impact of browsing their site, and avoids the use of video - amongst other things. While for some businesses this might be extreme, it is a good example of the changes we can make in our approach to digital to be more aware of the environment, and our impacts on it.
Digital, like most other things in our lives, has an environmental impact. While it’s still small in comparison to major polluters like fashion, agriculture, and oil & gas, it is still an impact, and one that we can all be aware of and take steps to improve.
We just stumbled on Derek Abella his work and fell in love with it. He leans into discussing “the relationship of shape and colours”, likening them to “the emotional relationship between figures in my pieces”. Cool huh!? Check out his site or instagram for more work.
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Thanks for reading,