TO THINK is a journal exploring thoughts and conversations on visual culture.
The ever-expanding fields of visual culture appear more important than ever before. Our new-found capability to engage with ever-refreshing visual content is outstripping our ability to understand, synthesise and appreciate it. At the core of our belief — and the reason for this journal — is the notion that we can, must and should take more time to consider and discuss the visual culture we create.
For us, this is all about creating dialogue, as we believe conversation is a cultivating medium for deep thought; and we believe that deep thought is a prerequisite of both good decisions and good design.
In each issue of TO THINK, we bring provocateurs, entrepreneurs, designers and visionaries together and ask them a single question with the aim of provoking debate and opening up fulfilling thought around the visual culture that surrounds us. We hope TO THINK will provide the necessary moments of quiet to stop, contemplate and think.
TO THINK FOREVER
In an economy characterised by linear short-termism, people are crying out for a radically different vision of the future. We live in an age where doomsday predictions aren’t hyperbolic — they’re the stark reality.
We appear to be at a new crossroads in our lives both as private citizens and as a society as a whole. The choices we face, or simply now accept, will be profound. They speak to who we are as people and who we are as a society. They will profoundly affect everything we love and everything we do. Finding radically new and elevated responses to these challenges — and critically engaging people in the right way with these topics is the most pressing task of our age. There is nothing bigger or more unfathomably urgent. So where is change coming from and how will it be met? Who will it be led by? How will it be communicated? Why will it matter?
IN THOUGHT WITH
In our second issue of TO THINK, we bring together deep thinkers renowned for being unafraid to make real the future they imagine. Our mix of conversationalists all have one thing in common: a belief that if we care for the future and can envision a better one, it will better dictate the present and our decisions here and now.
Our conversationalists range from MARY ROBINSON (former president of Ireland; former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Chair of The Elders) to MARTIN STUCHTEY (Global innovator and circular economy adviser) to HEGE SÆBJØRNSEN (Sustainability Manager of IKEA) to EVAN SHARP (co-founder of Pinterest) to SATISH KUMAR (former monk; long-term peace and environmental activist).
IN THOUGHT WITH
and SATISH KUMAR
LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND.
For MARY ROBINSON, the Paris Agreement on climate action was a pivotal moment of personal enlightenment as, for the first time, she saw threats facing the world as an issue of natural justice, not just the environment.
The former president of Ireland believes that out of the depths of despair comes new-found optimism. Children, she says, are giving us hope, something to fight for and a date in the future to work towards.
Inspiring a sense of profound optimism, she believes that only in moments of extreme crisis do we find it in ourselves to come up with lasting solutions to the problems that have plagued us for decades. Movements like Extinction Rebellion and the climate school strikes are creating a positive sense of emergency, she suggests, because they force us to sit up and listen like never before.
A new hope with urgent optimism.
BELLA LACK gives us a majestic insight into the simplicity and clarity with which young people see things.
As we get older, Bella believes, the lens with which we view everything becomes contorted, scratched and prism-like. Bella sees the beauty of everything, viewing the planet as something to be treasured, shaming older generations who look at the world as something to be plundered.
With pragmatic simplicity Bella views the crisis with empowering clarity. It’s as simple, she says, as following the science, recognise what it is telling us and act.
From words to actions.
KATHARINE HAMNETT uses a lens of fashion to drive her activism — a lens where you wear what you believe.
Katharine’s incredible story has resonated with people around the world, with her iconic fashion used to sell a bigger story of profound change and a new emphasis on core values.
Relentlessly unapologetic, the designer uses language in a direct, impactful way to cut through with clarity and raise consciousness. Warning that it may already be too late, Katharine demands we meet the climate challenge head on by urgently moving from words to actions.
A new kind of activism.
FREDERIKKE MAGNUSSEN provides a powerful insight into how A Plastic Planet brings a fresh perspective to a problem that plagues our planet.
Frederikke believes too often campaigners view business as the enemy, but by taking a collaborative approach, working from within business, she thinks that powerful and rapid change can occur.
She thinks we are witnessing a new kind of activism with a profound movement for change in which entrepreneurs and business leaders unite to cut through the noise and elevate the issues facing the world today.
The awakening of design.
ARIC CHEN believes we have taken the world to the brink, arguing that we now all act as if change is so inevitable, and asking who do we think is controlling this. He calls for an honest discussion about what we can change and the things we cannot.
Overconsumption, Aric suggests, is within our control and something we can change. And that starts with business doing the right thing. Aric believes design is the engine of business, and so will play a fundamental role in moving us away from mass consumption to a new approach.
Here, he discusses in depth the role of design in shaping a healthier natural world for future generations to come.
The quality revolution.
MARTIN STUTCHEY passionately believes we must focus our gaze upon the quality of design, shifting poor design to good.
Challenging the climate crisis represents a difficult task, he suggests, but if we do nothing the outcome will be inevitable.
Martin is calling for a new age of permanence and durability in which our relationship with material items is redefined. The business leader believes that blame can no longer be placed on consumers, suggesting a profound shift to producer responsibility is urgently needed.
Martin believes that a systemic approach can shape a positive future environment.
A brave new world of borrowers.
HENRIETTA THOMPSON provides a unique perspective on how shifting the concept of ownership could help mankind radically reduce its collective carbon footprint.
She discusses entering into a new era of craftsmanship and repair. Henrietta believes chronic overconsumption is fuelling the climate crisis and disconnecting people from the true value of items.
Yet the entrepreneur believes the status quo is being challenged, and that as people we are changing from consumers to enlightened citizens, who can look beyond the horizon towards the challenges the world is facing.
Not for the few, for the many.
HEGE SÆBJØRNSEN is passionate about inspiring and enabling people to change in a way that is highly accessible and relevant to the realities of life for most people in the world today.
With some 43 per cent of people in the UK not having access to a living standard home, Hege asks: how can people be expected to take the time to think deeply about the impact of mankind on the environment?
IKEA believes change must start in our own households, starting with IKEA itself, from which we begin to encourage others to get behind the push for a better world.
Hege explores how reframing the language of sustainability can bring about a powerful shift with people rising to the environmental and social challenges facing mankind.
Seeing a waste-free future.
A passionate advocate for true circularity, Augusto Garzon wants to bring about quick-fire change that will move us away from the traditionally linear models that have left the earth facing ruin.
Augusto believes small actions have powerful ripple effects. He suggests the powerful symbolism of changing something everyday gives hope that fundamental change will come.
Good design, Augusto argues, changes the entire experience of everyday life.
Envision a better tomorrow.
Evan Sharp is clear that humanity constantly feels the need to consume. He believes we’ve never addressed our collective inability to be satisfied. Mankind, Evan suggests, will always want more.
The entrepreneur believes we are constantly searching for gratification. From being hoarders to wanting constant validation, Evan suggests we will never be satisfied if we don’t reconnect with ourselves.
Evan explores how humanity can envision a better future in which we are truly content with what we have.
The time is now.
SATISH KUMAR reminds us the prospect of a beautiful future is not beyond us. He is clear we must search deeper within ourselves, looking beyond what we think makes us happy, recognising how little we actually need.
Satish believes by reconnecting our head and heart, we can learn to live in complete harmony, rather than in battle with Nature.
The peace activist suggests our overconsumption has weighed us down physically and spiritually. By stripping back the layers of what we think we need, and what really sustains us, he claims, we can and will be free.
Satish explains how the time for unified action to tackle the existential threats to the environment is quite simply now.
SHOP TO THINK
TO THINK is now available in many specialist magazine stores.
For details of your nearest stockist:
BoutiqueMags, Charlotte Street News, The Design Museum, MagCulture, Magma, Regent News, Somerset House, We Love Print
REST OF THE UK
Magalleria (Bath), Magazine Brighton, Magazine Heaven (Rushden)
Athenaeum (Amsterdam), Coffeetable Mags (Hamburg), Do You Read Me?! (Berlin), IMS (Antwerp and Amsterdam), OFR (Copenhagen), Papercut (Stockholm), Print Matters (Zurich), Rosa Wolf (Berlin)
The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Import News (New York)
REST OF THE WORLD
Dorbeetle (Zhejiang, China), Post Nothing (Bogota, Colombia), Basheer Graphics (Singapore)