Category: Culture

Same Same, But Different

Select, copy and paste—a few taps on the smartphone is all it takes to make a duplicate today. Digital technology has made copying effortless and available to all. Lovely opinion! Copy a quote. Beautiful illustration! Save a copy. Awesome tune and film… make copies for sharing? Despite protests from the creative industries—from publishing to music, film to fashion—that rampant copying would destroy creativity, this prediction has not come to pass. Instead, one could argue that preventing copying has encouraged creators to milk existing works over creating new innovations.

➜ Read the full essay on the website for the Bad Imitation exhibition

Repairing Repair

I’m typing this essay on a laptop in need of repair. The battery lasts for no more than two hours. The speakers go silent after hours of use. But aside from these defects, the laptop still works as when I first bought it eight years ago.

All of us have something broken in our lives. Tucked away in a drawer. Collecting dust in the storeroom. Or like in the case of my laptop, faulty but still functioning. For various reasons—from the practical to the environmental and sentimental—we have hung on to these damaged goods instead of simply throwing them out.

➜ Read the full essay in R for Repair (2020) available from Temporary Press

In Singapore, Residents Create a Social Distancing Wayfinding Language With Tape

Dots. Lines. Crosses. Boxes. They have popped up all across Singapore over the past few weeks. Plastered over furniture, floors, and more, the city-state renowned for its cleanliness and order has become a maze of symbols, in order to defend its inhabitants from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This “mess” is indeed a series of messages. They tell citizens to stay apart from one another as the city battles to control the spread of the virus. Such makeshift signs started appearing right after the government introduced safe distancing measures on March 20, in order to limit the number of people gathering in a space and keep them at least 1-metre apart.

With just two-days notice before the measures turned into law, and no specific guide on how to implement them, local businesses and organizations quickly found their own solutions. While some printed custom signage to explain the measures, the most popular method has been to use adhesive tape to construct symbols, from crossing out seats to drawing queue lines and cordoning off areas.

Read the full story in AIGA’s Eye on Design