We think we understand the rules when we become adults, but what we really experience is a narrowing of the imagination.

– David Lynch


Featured artist: Luciano Cian

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 145!

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A friend of mine recently admitted that he’s currently into really trashy comedies. “10% or below on Rotten Tomatoes!” Another friend confided in me that she’s in a strict non-committal phase. “No long-term partners, jobs or decisions of any kind for the rest of the year!”

Both of them use a little loophole to avoid judgement. By stating that they are going through a temporary period of behaviour change, they ‘get away’ with doing things that may seem out-of-character to people around them. It’s a social license for change that I think we should use a lot more freely.

Lots of people have strong opinions on the nebulous concept of ‘work/life balance’. If you burn the midnight oil, you’re a slave to your work! But if you don’t get up every morning with a spring in your step to pursue your passion, then you’re a slacker! The reality is that both are true for most of us.

Work can be bliss, when my brain is bursting with ideas and my body is buzzing to get them out. Fifteen hours at work? Not enough! At other times I can’t imagine anything more pathetic and dehumanising than sitting on a desk tapping buttons until the sun goes down. That’s me (and probably you) in different phases of life.

This sounds pretty obvious, I know, but I think we often forget to acknowledge that so much of what we experience happens in temporary phases (that, by the way, often beget each other). Sometimes these phases don’t have clear-cut beginnings and endings. Sometimes they overlap. Sometimes we can plan for them, and sometimes they are determined by factors outside our control.

Instead of applying fixed labels, it’s useful to think of life as an accumulation of different phases. This minor perspective shift allows us to be less absolutist and judgy – about ourselves and others. It gives us permission to change, to be different people at different times.

So whether it’s shitty movies, short-term relationships or all-nighters at work, they don’t define who we are but who we want/need to be at a particular moment. – Kai


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d.MBA →

An online Design MBA

The d.MBA is a six-week online business program made specifically for designers. Learn how to align design and business goals without sacrificing your values. Join the next cohort of 30 designers, starting on September 27th, 2021.


Apps & Sites

Human Hotel →

Stay with interesting people

What an amazing idea: instead of choosing your holiday accommodation purely based on the features of the place, Human Hotel invites you to stay with individuals that you may share interests with. Why not stay with an artist, a journalist or a scientist? They even have a dedicated section for the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow, encouraging people to ‘host a climate justice guest’.

Access Guide →

Intro to digital accessibility

This easy to understand, well-structured guide to digital accessibility would have come in handy a few months ago when I was trying to help a friend with some accessibility updates to their website. Bookmarked for future reference.

Macro →

Task checklist & automation

Macro is a tool that guides users through processes – a list of steps that needs to be taken – such as onboarding a new team member. By directly integrating other apps, Macro allows those steps to take place within one interface.

Than Average →

Compare yourself to others

Essentially just a survey that asks you to compare specific character traits of yours with that of the average person. A simple, yet powerful way to trigger reflection on how we value and compare ourselves to others.


Worthy Five: Aaina Sharma


Five recommendations by design leader and dog lover Aaina Sharma

A book worth reading:

As the world is getting smaller and more connected, it’s important to know what interacting with various cultures entails. The Culture Map by Erin Meyer does a fantastic job of outlining cultural differences and decoding cultures across the globe. I’ve read this book three times now and learn something new each time I read it.

A quote worth repeating:

‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ This quote by Maya Angelou has always resonated with me and aligns so well with my personal values. Be kind. Be accepting. Be open.

A podcast worth listening to:

How to Own the Room by comedian and presenter Viv Groskop who talks to inspiring women about the art of brilliant speaking. She’s also got a great book by the same title.

A recipe worth trying:

I recently came across this delicious Mango Lassi Souffle recipe by Hetal Vasavada from Milk & Cardamom. It’s absolutely delicious!

An activity worth doing:

I’ve always loved wandering around and taking photos which has proven to be especially therapeutic during the pandemic. I usually pick an overcast day (good for street photography), put on comfy shoes, and go for a wander with my Fuji camera. Discovering unknown places has always been so liberating for me!




The Scout Mindset →

How to think more rationally

Julia Galef is an expert on rational decision-making. In her new book she describes how many of us operate on a ‘soldier’ mindset: “From tribalism and wishful thinking, to rationalising in our personal lives and everything in between, we are driven to defend the ideas we most want to believe – and shoot down those we don’t.” She argues that we need to develop a ‘scout’ mindset instead: “A scout’s goal isn’t to defend one side over the other. It’s to go out, survey the territory, and come back with as accurate a map as possible.”


The Next Great Migration →

Humans: a species on the move

We know that climate change will trigger migration on a massive scale. Science journalist Sonia Shah looks at our species’ migratory history, showing how natural and important migration was/is for its survival. “Unhampered by barbed wire, migration allowed our ancestors to people the planet, catapulting us into the highest reaches of the Himalayan mountains and the most remote islands of the Pacific, creating and disseminating the biological, cultural, and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon. In other words, migration is not the crisis – it is the solution.”


Overheard on Twitter

Unpopular opinion: the best thing young people can do early in their careers is have wealthy parents.



Food for Thought

We are all conspiracy theorists →


Avoiding binary thinking about conspiracy theories helps us realise that we all operate on a ‘spectrum’ of truth. “It’s tempting to simply divide people up into ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘regular people’ – to have tinfoil-hat-wearing paranoids on one side and sensible folk on the other. But the reality is that we are all conspiracy theorists, one way or another. We all know that conspiracies exist; we all suspect people in power of being involved in many kinds of conspiracies, even if it’s only something as banal as accepting campaign contributions to vote a certain way on certain types of legislation.”

The NFT Funhouse Mirror →


Honestly, it took me a while to read this one because anything NFT-related bores me to sleep. This is a good critique, though, showing how new tech rarely solves problems and instead often reflects and crystalises problems of the past. “The financialization of everything may be the opposite of what it’s trying to fix, and may blind us to other possible solutions. The question may not be simply, ‘How do we build a better business model for the art world?’, but rather: ‘How do we build sustainable, humane economic systems that allow all people to thrive and create?’ If we are reinventing monetary systems and value itself, it should align better with what we actually ‘value’.”

Welcome to the Internet – Bo Burnham →


I’m currently on a Netflix break, so my friends introduced me – via this YouTube video – to the brilliant work of comedian Bo Burnham. He filmed himself completely alone in a room of his house without a crew or audience during the pandemic and Netflix then released it under Bo Burnham: Inside.


Aesthetically Pleasing

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Landscape photographer Jan Erik Waider, whom I first featured in DD122, just released this captivating series of close-up lava shots from Iceland.

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Say it with a Zoom background image. As usual, Mr Bingo doesn’t mince words.

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‘Utterly adorable.’ Those are the words that come to mind watching the stop motion clips of felt artist Andrea Love. She’s currently making a film called Tulip. Watch the trailer.

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