The New New — Issue Eighteen
In which algorithmic anxiety has us heading back to the future—all while materials, vehicles, and prostheses keep getting smarter.
Image from Sony Design’s INTO SIGHT sensorial effects exhibit at London Design Festival 2022
Let’s get right to it.
In this issue, we go broad across culture and society. Branding and marketing. Energy and intelligence. Materials and locomotion.
And guess what?
It turns out we may all be formerly-chic algorithm-worrywarting, nimcel-wannabes who like zombie brands, hand-painted billboards, and smart things that won’t run us over.
So, let’s start with the intrigue and end with a personal request.
All the Cool Kids Are Doing It
Closed Captions, popular with multi-tasking younger generations
Nimcels, niche internet micro-celebrities are taking over the internet
No More “Chic,” gone the way of “random,” “slay,” millennial pink, and the Harlem Shake
Algorithmic Anxiety, feeling like the computer is more in control of our choices than we are
Marketing Goes Backwards
Curated Collectivism, hot from 1993–2005, the social (media) curve has returned to this era
Zombie Brands, replacing nostalgia with NFT-hawking rogue social managers (looking at your RadioShack)
Hand-Painted Billboards, combating digital fatigue (and stopping traffic) as artists use actual paintbrushes on brands’ OOH advertisements
Smart meets Smarter
Intelligent Materials, creating an engineered material that can simultaneously sense, think, and act
Memory Prosthesis, copying the function of the hippocampus to boost the encoding of memories
Clean Energy Charging, optimizing device charging times for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources
On the Move
Drone Trailers, this “driverless mobility concept” is a sci-fi semi-truck brought to life
Methanol Cars, China’s new big bet sees carbon-saving potential in “wood alcohol”
Pedestrian Apps, keeping self-driving cars from running over you
The Forewarned Request
This lockdown-born newsletter, which started on a whim with a let-us-see-what-happens approach, has been building quite the audience—thank you, everyone!
I appreciate all the shares and recommendations, the comments and likes, and the references and replies.
I’d love more thoughts on how to make the New New better for you. Please fill out this concise, three-question feedback form. I promise zero NPS-styled questions are asked.
Back At It
The New New will be back again.
Until then, here are some things from the archive that I am still talking and thinking (and worrying) about.
The New New is an irregular—and often irreverent—roundup of emerging experiences, culture-driven experiments, and scoops of perception.
See you back here soon.