Karen Is My Life Coach (By Anna Gerber)

karen

This is Anna Gerber’s third and final guest blog for us. She’s been writing about delightful new storytelling projects that have caught her eye. Anna is a Special Projects Creative Director who knows a thing or two about making stories, be they digital, on paper or brickwork as co-Founder of Visual Editions and Creative Director of just launched Editions At Play.

Here’s the thing. You’re really never sure if Karen is on your side or not. Or if she’s nice. Or if you even like her. Her eyes sparkle, her smile is warm, in one trailer you even see her sitting in front of a polite mantle piece. But she can also seem a little cult-leader-like: her stare can feel intrusive, her polite mantle piece probably too polite and her questions a bit much. Her creators capture this unease with their strapline: “She’s friendly. Too friendly.”

So what or who is Karen? Karen is My Life Coach is an app. It’s an app dreamed up by Blast Theory (based in Brighton, England). Karen is a fictionalised character, she is a made up life coach that asks you (the client? patient? user?) an awful lot of questions in a series of eerily realistic life coach session environments. The app is smart. Karen is smart as she amasses data about you and your behaviour in order to know how to respond. She’s like an interactive version of a cross between the Spike Jonze film Her and the UK Channel Four TV series Humans.

The thing is Karen is not a very helpful app. She is not a tool. Karen is unlikely to support you and guide you in a way that you feel you might want or need. But here’s what Karen will do: she will get you to question how freely you are prepared to be open and honest and intimate with your phone. She might even make you think twice about big data and how companies and governments collect information about you unknowingly all the time.

Powered by the rather thrilling intersection of theatre, art and technology Karen is smart, here is an app that makes a gentle and poignant cultural interrogation and it’s even funny if you want it to be. In an unnerving way. One things for sure: if you’re like me, it might make you feel wary of my phone. At least for a couple days. And that’s probably a good thing.

High Resolution Interview

Judy was delighted to be featured on the High Resolution video podcast series. Focused on Design Leadership, High Resolution is the passionate endeavor of Bobby Ghoshal and Jared Erondu, showcasing some highly inspired dialogues.

Our conversation ranged from Wert&Co.’s history recruiting creative leadership over the last two decades, to some of our behind the scenes insights and tools, and even our favorite children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon and how it can serve as a metaphor for mapping one’s own professional (and personal) journey.

 

SF MOMA

On our recent business trip to the left coast (after a pit stop for the fascinating Renaissance Weekend in Utah), we were finally able to visit the renovated SF MOMA. And while we don’t exit thru the gift shop, well, actually we did. And the bookstore left us with plenty of summer reading inspiration — from A Smile in the Mind: Witty Thinking in Graphic Design (the classic had a new edition out last year — over 1,000 visual examples of humour, irony and playfulness in graphic design and branding over the last few decades) to the Little Book of Hygge (which just might make us look forward to the winter or at least a visit to Copenhagen!).

 

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

books

There’s a lot happening these days at Wert&Co.–reflected in six books we would like to share with you. We’ve been preparing for a few talks and seeking to understand ourselves and our work more deeply, finding inspiration from the self discovery of childhood to the wisdom (hopefully) gained over the years. This month we also mourned the loss of John Berger who’s seminal Ways of Seeing provided us not just with a tool to view art in a revolutionary way, but a tool to understand critically the images that surround us. Finally with data ruling the day, in both politics and our work, we’ve found ourselves recently in a deep dive on both the mechanics, design and ethics of this fascinating subject.

 

Twitter

View all

A huge influence on Design. Muriel Cooper: The unsung heroine of on-screen style https://t.co/QN486oJIHQ

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera