Jon Gold

AboutArchiveContact

this post hasn’t been published yet - if you’ve stumbled upon it I’d love your feedback but please don’t share it just yet!

Invalid date · 2 minute read

Redesigning London

This post follows the third night of [rioting in London in August 2011](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011Londonriots)

So, London has just been burnt and looted to shit. I’m 6000 miles away right now, so I can’t be in the streets helping the clean-up efforts, but I want to find a way to help those with their homes and businesses destroyed. Perhaps you’re not from London, or the UK - maybe you are. It doesn’t matter; we all want to help rebuild the city we love.

The design community’s response to the Tōhoku Earthquake was inspiring. I don’t have figures on the amount raised by various designers (selling posters etc), but it was touching to see our industry figuring out ways to contribute other than donating to charity.

Let’s do the same thing for London. Some quick thoughts:

I don’t think donating to charity—whether direct or through things like poster sales—is the best option. It might be an option but with so much destroyed we should try to rebuild first. We’re good at building stuff, right?

I don’t know how we can help those who have lost their homes. Maybe you do? Let’s brainstorm ways to help in the comments and on Twitter.

I have an idea for helping small businesses. I’m not sure if it’s too little, or too corny, but hear me out:

Over the coming weeks and months we’ll have lots of small/independent/family/local businesses trying to rebuild themselves. I can’t imagine the challenges they’re facing, but one thing we’re good at as an industry is marketing those businesses, and helping them get recognised (in real life, and via social media).

How about we find willing shops that are in need of a little bit of help, and help them build a website (assuming they don’t have one already), get word of mouth going online, and whatever else it is we usually do for clients? Hopefully it would help them kickstart business? Perhaps this could eventually turn into a directory of affected businesses and designers willing to spend some time helping?

I don’t know. Just a thought.

I don’t have an answer, but I’m convinced we can do something as an industry and as a community to help. It would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments and on Twitter; hopefully we can get the ball rolling as soon as possible.


If you’d like to stay updated on my work & writing about design, AI, mindfulness & attention, sign up to my newsletter.

Jon Gold

Jon Gold is a technologist, musician, and attention activist researching the long-term future of computation at Airbnb, focusing on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence & the creative process. Contact