Category Archives: language

Japan Inc. should use COVID-19 to end excessive formality

Extreme formality runs deep in Japanese business culture, stifling employees’ sense of ownership and suppressing innovation. Unexpectedly, the COVID-19 pandemic offers a chance to disrupt such staid traditions.  Excessive formality hurts companies in three ways. First, it discourages young minds from voicing their opinions. With the business environment shifting so quickly, and the maturity curve of wisdom being flattened — if not reversed — businesses only suffer by being deaf to younger voices. Read more (Nikkei Asia)

The Responsible Object: A History of Design Ideology for the Future

Within the design discipline, calls for sustainability and social responsibility have become some of the most common rallying cries of the past decade, generating countless new products, materials and technologies―all designed to change the course of our future. Adjectives like “sustainable,” “green” and “eco” describe this new wave of socially committed design. But though today’s conditions are urgent and particular, the ideologies behind these new products are often not totally new, but rather a part of design history. Contemporary sustainable design is just the newest chapter of a story that stretches back throughout the previous centuries. The Responsible Object presents a selected history of socially committed design strategies within the Western design tradition of roughly the last 150 years, from William Morris to Victor Papanek, and from VKhUTEMAS to FabLab. It includes about 20 interstitial mini-posters with slogans from the text, printed on different colored papers. Learn more (Amazon.com)

The New Sobriety (2019)

This is according to a new generation of kinda-sorta temporary temperance crusaders, whose attitudes toward the hooch is somewhere between Carrie Nation’s and Carrie Bradshaw’s. To them, sobriety is something less (and more) than a practice relevant only to clinically determined alcohol abusers. Now it can also just be something cool and healthful to try, like going vegan, or taking an Iyengar yoga class. Read more (NY Times)

The Real Reason We’re Wearing All-Black During The Pandemic

Lockdown dressing has divided us in more ways than one. You might remain committed to comfort via loungewear – or perhaps you’ve started dressing with some semblance of structure in order to bolster your mood each morning – but there’s further proof that we’re all approaching pandemic dressing differently. Read more (Refinery 29)