Water that Talks

Water Fountain Alcove Water Mosaic

Heart of the Beast theater in Minneapolis held a festival to welcome the water back into the lobby. – For years, the drinking fountain in the building’s lobby had not been functioning. To support their belief that water should be a clean, free and part of the public commons, the theater has focused on water-themed programming to raise funds to repair their fountain. And at last, what a fountain it is.

This is an example of a background story taken to the forefront: the mosaic visual magnificently overwhelms the source of initial inspiration. This is fitting as the concept the theater highlights is that water is the source of all life: direct from mother earth herself. The mural haloing the fountain quasi-indicates to the spirituality surrounding water.

If not entirely straight-forward, the visual illustration allows the viewer to create their own story about water: Whether that story is a quest for spirituality, native tradition, or catalogs the historical significance of H2O.

CNN BackStory

CNN BackStory screengrab

CNN has launched a new application to show how a story has developed over time. This is basically a collection of all CNN-posted stories associated with a particular event. The example they give is the Anthrax case. http://behindthescenes.blogs.cnn.com/

This allows readers to easily dig into the recent history of a story. The impact of a news service that offered such a view into history -AND incorporated stories from other key news media (CNN, BBC, and New York Times for example)- could be extremely powerful piece of online media to showcase varying perspectives. It will be interesting to see if partnerships emerge in this area – also incorporate other online media (video in addition to text-based stories).

Apple Card

Greeting Card with graphic of Apple life-cycle

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, this card is worth an entire year doctor-free.

The graphic on this greeting card describes the life-cycle of an apple seed/tree/fruit. The scale of each element is irrelevant because segment of illustration concentrates on the most important component of that part of the cycle; giving the viewer the appropriate zoomed-in or zoomed-out view.

The key words are a bit redundant (especially “Blossom”). Without these words the viewer would still understand that the story is about the cyclic growth of the apple. However, if the subject in question were more complex or unusual than the common apple, keywords would become essential.

Take it one step further: imagine how the graphic could get even better connected if the paper its printed on was made from apple tree pulp…then embed an apple seed inside so the disposal of the card grows another tree. The graphic could then expand to include the tree trunk’s second life as this card.

Card by Pancake & Franks.