Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So Many A Second

I love finding smart new ways to get big ideas across quickly and dramatically. When you get it right, the results are spectacular. Check out the Ah-Ha Factor for a great example. Here’s another - studio: luden’s So Many A Second.

With what seems to be to be classic Dutch simplicity, two young designers have taken on the huge challenge of information overload, and won. So Many A Second is hugely effective. The father of information architecture (and original host of TED), Richard Saul Wurman, would be proud to see how far we have come in combating what he brilliantly termed Information Anxiety.

So Many A Second visually represents what happens in a second over a wide range of events. They connect time and space with tremendous impact. Follow the flood of babies born every second in the world. Track the slower pace of skulls representing deaths. Experience that Ah-Ha! moment when you reflect on the reality that our planet has finite resources. Watch 150 trees a second falling down on your screen to remind you that this is the number felled every second. You don’t just read a number, you make a direct connection. You can also create your own screens. Just type in the stats and the site will do the rest.

studio:ludens bring statistics – because that’s all they essentially are – to life with stylish visuals. In a time of constant change, simple visualizations can do more to shift attitudes than complicated essays or turgid PowerPoints. My only quibble is that the site doesn’t take advantage of the full sisomo vocabulary. We’ve got great Sight and Motion, but no Sound. A gentle tinkling as the 200 stars being born every second in the universe tumble down the screen would have taken the site to a new dimension.

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