That’s Interesting and Uplifting 18.06.2020

As we all try to adapt, cope, be safe and do our part to control and overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to find ways to stay motivated and positive. That is why, over the last few weeks, That’s Interesting has been focusing on initiatives and ideas that are uplifting and inspiring in these challenging times.

So, from drive-in art exhibitions to screen-time-reducing smartphone interfaces, here are some things that made us say “That’s interesting, and uplifting!” in the studio this week.

Drive-in Van Gogh.

With museums and galleries having to close their doors during lockdown, we have seen many turn to virtual reality to continue bringing art and culture to their audiences. Toronto’s approach manages to marry the digital and the physical in a socially distant way: local art lovers can drive their cars into a 4,000 square foot warehouse and watch Van Gogh’s Impressionist art come to life, projected on the surfaces all around them. As co-producer Corey Ross describes, “The lights go down and the projection begins. It [is] almost as if the car is floating through the paintings.”

Starry, starry nights here

Shave with Pride.

This year, Pride month has had to seriously scaled back on the parades due to social distancing – but supporting, raising awareness and celebrating is definitely not cancelled. For example, men’s grooming brand Harry’s has moved the celebrations to its packaging and digital channels. The brand collaborated with Spanish illustrator José Roda to develop a beautiful, vibrant digital experience – Design with Pride – that tells the exceptional stories of the talents and personalities of 12 creatives from the LGBTQ community. And the newly released, limited edition Shave With Pride Set is a colourful work of art (also illustrated by Roda) that raises money for LGBTQ charities and initiatives.

Celebrate Pride here

Digital wellbeing.

Smartphone brand Blloc has recently released Ratio, a distraction-free user interface that operates on Android and is designed to reduce phone addiction. The free launcher replaces the regular Android interface with a minimal black and white one, which also applies to individual apps, a neat trick that instantly reduces the scroll-factor of the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Ratio also automatically segregates apps into categories (e.g. Social, Banking and Mobility) to declutter the home screen, and groups all messaging into one experimental chat space, enabling users to communicate effectively without being side-tracked by the rest of the original apps’ interfaces. The timing couldn’t be more perfect: as discussed in April’s Different Path article – Make Analogue Great Again –  our screen time levels are soaring, and during lockdown it can be challenging to juggle productivity, connectivity, social interactions and some much needed down-time.

Smarter phones here 

Sustainable sourcing.

Google has partnered with WWF Sweden to build a platform that will make it easier for fashion brands to source eco-friendly materials. The idea is for the two brands to pool their resources and research capabilities to compile a database of raw materials and their impact on the environment. Each material and sourcing location will be scored on multiple environmental issues such as water scarcity or air pollution, as well as estimating specific impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions and accounting for the mitigation benefits of more sustainable sourcing options. The initiative is another step towards the fashion industry making its supply chains more sustainable and transparent.

Search for cleaner fashion here


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