Dispatch 002

“I have trained myself, over time, to accept that what’s right in the moment is what’s right in the moment. Life has different phases and timelines.”

—Lettering artist Jessica Hische, quoted in Live Magazine

An Introduction
Welcome to Dispatch, a newsletter from the Frontier office in Toronto. My name is Brian Sholis. I’m an editor, writer, Frontier’s media director, and a newsletter hound. Every few weeks, I’ll bring you stories from the worlds of design, art, technology, literature, science, and business that have resonated with us at Frontier—and that resonate together around a common theme. I hope you find something that reframes your thinking, inspires a creative effort, or provides pleasure. You can connect with me by replying to this email and, of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Sharing Longtime Passions through New Channels
Clothing company Patagonia, long known for environmental activism, recently launched Action Works, a digital initiative to connect its customers with environmental organizations the company supports.

Bloomberg took notice, including CEO Rose Marcario in its Bloomberg 50 list of business figures who had a noteworthy 2018. In a short interview, she cuts to the chase: “We’re living in a time when it’s important for business to drive a new kind of economy, an aspirational view of the future where business is a force for good. We have to get out of this quarterly mentality.”

Balancing Users and Society
In a recent blog post, Ben Terrett, a service designer based in London, urges us to think about a service’s impact on society. “Let’s be careful,” he cautions. The proliferation of internet access and mobile devices means service design is “more important and more influential [than ever]. Like advertising, it has power. It can affect people’s lives, more than we realize. We have to acknowledge that responsibility, recognize the power it gives us, and understand the potential for misuse.”

Changing an Institution’s Voice
Editor and art critic Brian Droitcour has spent years thinking about voice and language in the context of art. This thought-provoking essay is about museums, but applies as well to businesses and other organizations. “Neutrality is sometimes confused for inclusivity—the possibility of being open to everyone. That’s a good goal, but it’s better to think of it in terms of access rather than inclusion. In other words, you’re providing ways for a public to access your work, rather than writing for a possible, anonymous multitude.”