by Jon Kolko
To maintain any semblance of happiness, the skill most of us will require in the future is sensemaking: the ability to connect discrete insights and synthesize large quantities of often incomplete or conflicting information. But as Jon Kolko argues, only a few are armed with this magic ability and it requires hard, hard work.
Field of dreams
America’s most articulate and passionate farmer, Joel Salatin, tells us about integrity, the new tribalism and why—unless you’re Mr. T—you need to care about agriculture.
Place Graphs and Neighbourhoods
Dovetailing the growing corpus of social data with geographical data, maps are evolving fast to include hot spots and top draws of neighbourhoods across the world, making it easy to find common ground even in foreign territory.
If our educational institutions and workplaces could be reimagined for the digital age, what would they look like? Perhaps just like your favourite coffee shop.
Todd Barket knows retail. His clothing store, Unionmade, has become a benchmark for new men’s retail by catering to gents who know exquisite quality craftsmanship and have an eye for timeless fashion. We have a chat with Todd about reading, reinvention and, of course, keeping it real.
Playfulness and Processuality
by David Cox
David Cox interviews Bruce Sterling on the so-called ‘New Aesthetic’ to examine ideas such as ‘processuality’; identifying patterns that connect machine sensor vision, aerial imaging, beauty in digital ‘mistakes’ and a general folding in of the digital into the real. The shock of the new has not felt quite this romantic since the early 1990s.
The Olde Aesthetic
by Nick Foster
Did the Olde Aesthetic arise as a counter to the fast-food monotony of the digital world or does the comfort of an Olde Aesthetic life lead to better clarity when considering the future?
by Jennifer Lynn Bisson
Back to Basics: Culture, Connecting, Camaraderie and Classic Rites of Passage at the Barber Shop.
Sam Guelimi, founder of Edwarda, an erotic magazine devoted to the art of desire tells us about mystery, philosophy, discretion and expression.
Magazines As Identities and Platforms
by Kati Krause
Magazines are artefacts: a presence in one’s home, library, cafe, hotel or meeting place. Increasingly, magazines have been using this power to expand their reach into the real world.
Pinball Publishing recently celebrated 10 years of ‘Ink, Paper and Magic’ at their design-savvy and eco-friendly print shop in Portland, Oregon. Laura Whipple, president of the company, answers some questions we have about the Pinball story, and how the ‘magic’ happens.
Bringing It Home
David Hieatt, co-founder of Hiut Denim and The Do Lectures in Wales, shares his love of histories, standing out, and doing one thing really well.
Branding by Design
Forget your father’s optometry—New York-based Warby Parker has been changing the eyewear game making glasses hip, sexy, literary and even socially responsible in a couple of short years. With a focus on pinpointed and precise design for every way you come to experience their brand, you might think the company was created by craftsmen. In fact, the founders come from a different side of the playing field—they’re Wharton graduates—but with their vision, what started off as a school project is now helping to rewrite the textbook on branding in the real world.
Beyond the Axe
“Measure twice, cut once.” Peter Buchanan-Smith appreciates a job well done and has made a living meticulously crafting axes by hand in his Brooklyn studio. As Best Made Co. expands with new products and new opportunities, we have to ask, is everything still wonderful?
Anders “SCRMN” Meisner
Anders “SCRMN” Meisner is a Danish artist, currently living and working in his hometown Copenhagen after residing throughout the last decade in various European countries. His collection of expression communicates mainly through high-scaled chromatic paintings as well as meticulous pen drawings and layered collages.
Edge of Eversion
by Patrick Tanguay
The distance has been breached. The physical world we inhabit and the digital world we created are now touching and becoming one. Where the overlap is most pronounced, on the foremost edges, people are making things, rekindling the old, creating the new, all enabled by an interconnected world.
The Internet of Things
by Martin Spindler
Cloud, Big Data and now the Internet of Things? Only one of them is being developed in garages. We explore the impact of connected objects and how it is more than just the latest in a round of buzzwords.
The Quantified Self
We’ve been told to watch our weight, count our calories and time our runs for quite a while now; but never before have we had the technology to measure all of our behavior so seamlessly, sensitively, automatically and intelligently. The burgeoning Quantified Self movement is a from-the-ground-up collective helping to perfect the marriage of technology with people’s self-improvement goals and usher in a new form of digital self-empowerment. But with the rise of self-measurement’s popularity come key questions about who’s minding the vast ocean of personal data coming out of it and how it is—and ought to be—used.
Lift your eyes from these words and look around you. Chances are, your eyes don’t have to stray far before you spot a computer, smartphone, mp3 player or tablet. At this very moment, you may be watching your roommate, wife, husband or child pecking away at a lit screen. These tools have been lauded, among other things, for boosting creativity, improving productivity and facilitating communication with people around the world. But if they’re so great, why are so many of us trying to escape them?
Benoit Paillé is a self-taught Canadian photographer and art director currently based in Montréal. This portrait series of ‘Rainbow Family Members’ was shot at Rainbow Gatherings in Spain, Canada and Mexico. “I decided to photograph my family, my brothers and sisters. I have been going to Rainbow Gatherings for seven years now, and I have taken pictures of it for the past three years. The pictures you see are very precious since photography is not usually allowed during the event.”
Urban agriculture and community gardens are sprouting up all over the world, creating a breeding ground for learning experiences, community living and a better quality of life.
by Louis-Jacques Darveau
In Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, the fourth installment of the Uncertainty Collection, Nassim Nicholas Taleb gives us a handbook on seeing things coming, by spotting the fragile, and conversely advocating in favour of people, organizations and ways of thinking, that are more than merely robust— they are antifragile.
Global Village Construction Set
A physicist-turned-farmer is using open source technology for an innovative project that places the power to survive and thrive directly in the hands of every community.
According to Rob Hopkins, the solution to peak oil and climate change is implementing a community model based on self-sufficiency, resilience and harnessing the unlimited power of human creativity.
Shared ownership. Collective consumption. The unplanned economy. Call it what you will—a new movement of the age old concept of sharing property is gaining in popularity thanks to a boost in digital technologies and a decline in institutional trust. The more consumers empower themselves by having their communities get the most out of goods and services, the more the traditional system will have to react, from changing to whom goods and services are sold, to changing the definitions of what a sale, an asset and money are in such a system.
Kickstarter: a Leg up on the Crowdfunding Crowd
Looking to raise money for that passion project kicking around in the back of your head? Forget the car wash, Kickstarter is now the prime online destination for raising money for creative projects. The flagship brand of a multisite crowdfunding movement, Kickstarter’s unique model appears to not just be growing the financial investment in projects year-on-year, but personal investment too; it’s more than a PayPal for donations, it’s a full-bodied community management platform. But as Kickstarter now grows exponentially, fundraising starts to become serious business, which raises the question: could the platform built to support the little guy become the victim of its own success?
The City of Now
by Peter Bihr
Berlin is a manifestation of all that The Alpine Review thinks about: It lives the notions of a flat, networked world, of constant remixing of ideas, of crafts and technology and culture intersections. Shaped by the patterns of decentralization, non-regulation, lack of interference, an emergence of can-do spirit; adding up to a city in a state of constant flux, equipped with a bustling creative scene, an unenforceable smoking ban and an airport-turned-park.
Experiments in Autonomy: Reflections on the Makerplatz
by Jay Cousins
One could view everything in our world as a collection of prototypes available to be changed. In these interesting times, we have all the tools in the world, all that is needed is a conversation to start the (re)making. Welcome to Berlin’s Makerplatz.
by Michelle Thorne
Events today are big engines of creativity, production and networking. As an industry and near philosophy onto itself, what trends are we seeing in live events and where are the opportunities to enrich these gatherings? How can we ensure that all the effort that goes into events is really worthwhile?
Making and Selling the Creative Space
by Georgina Voss
Creative city branding is a popular game, but raises questions about who the winners are.
Clustering Creativity in the City
Creativity has become a prized resource and city planners are taking notice. In this interview with Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, co-author of a 2012 study that compares the creative community in Barcelona’s El Raval with Montreal’s Mile End, we explore concepts such as culture-driven regeneration and discuss how to nurture creativity.
Corporate Families and Dreams
by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino
Utopian visions of the city weren’t only the remit of Archigram and comic books. Companies like Ford, Olivetti and Disney, driven by strong ideas about the relationship between community & business, tried building their own versions. This blending of relationships between the private and public might become potent in the near future in the technology industry as our governments promote more industrial action in society.
Reigniting a Culture of Experimentation and Entrepreneurship
Fearing a future where humans are afraid to experiment, two of the world’s most renowned engineers and inventors are crusading to re-create a culture where science, technology, engineering and the acceptance of failure is once again appreciated and respected.
Imagination As a New Currency
British author, philosopher and business consultant, Robert Rowland Smith, answers some questions for The Alpine Review. Together we discuss philosophy, imagination and ‘endarkenment’.
by André Schaminée
Design can help find new solutions for complex problems, but more attention needs to be paid to the interface between the design process and policy-making. In the Netherlands, forward-thinking consultants are giving form to this collaboration by holding an intermediate position.
Human history is filled with trial-and-error learning, misunderstandings and misclassifications; humans trying to solve problems without fully comprehending the cause of them. Gary Slutkin, founder of CeaseFire, argues that as a society we have been looking at violence and aggression in a naive and outdated way.
Nick Dewolf Photo Archive
Nick DeWolf was many things. Very tall, very thin, with a smirk on his face, a sparkle in his eye and a camera around his neck; he was an eccentric Renaissance man with an uncanny ability to spot things before they were things. We came across his photography and worked backwards, learning that it was one of his smaller legacies (the growing archive is soon to surpass 56 000 hand-developed photos taken over the course of a lifetime, digitized by his son-in-law, Steve Lundeen).
by Judy Batalion
What is home? This question is particularly pertinent in today’s global world, where people not only travel, but spend long swathes of time living in a foreign country—sometimes nomadically. Why do they choose to do so? Are they running to or from? In this personal essay, thirty-something Canadian writer Judy Batalion, who has traveled and lived in foreign countries since she was 18, reflects upon the meaning of her 10 years spent in the UK as she heads for her next stop: New York.
by Patrick Tanguay
Commentary — Issue No.1
Launching a print publication is as daunting as it is enlightening. Looking back on the process and looking forward to the future, our editor, Patrick Tanguay, explains the common threads woven into The Alpine Review.