12.1.10 | Ideas
“Scale comes from measuring, but also must be juxtaposed against something.” – Jamer Hunt
In our Design For This Century course, Jamer Hunt made the point that all measurement requires something in which to be measured against. This seemingly obvious statement provided great context as to why most of us who live in a technology-centered world feel as though we are in a state of quasi-chaos. With the scale of much of what we interact with now bearing no resemblance to the space or time humans were created to exist in, most of what we digest on a daily basis has quite literally become incomprehensible. By understanding that measurement used to be at a scale we could understand – physical and relatable – it becomes apparent why so many of us find ourselves feeling somewhat paralyzed as of late.
It seems this crippling feeling stems from the combination of not understanding the magnitude in which information is presented, as well as not having a clear, tangible entry point into the conversation. How can we make a difference when we cannot see where the problem starts or where it ends?
As Ted Byfield said, “Seeing is understanding and if you can’t see everything, you can’t do anything and therefore you’re left with only the option to feel strongly.” Certainly many of us feel very strongly about a host of issues, but that is often where our engagement ends. For when the next step after feeling passionately is never clearly defined or made accessible, we are left with only the option to feel strongly that we wish we could act.
Thinking about scale, order, chaos and proximity, I can’t help but wonder what the new manageable scale might be? Certainly our fast-paced modern lifestyle has extended our ability to comprehend a variety of scales, but at what point does the scale become unmanageable? Are we already there? Do we need to create a new measurement system for the 21st century that doesn’t leave us feeling paralyzed?
But here is the million dollar question – if we truly do need a Ruler 2.0 – who gets to decide it, I mean, design it?