Friday Fives, Vol. 118

We know this finds everyone in unprecedented times, but know we are thinking of you and that we’re in this together. If you are looking for ways to help (while social distancing) check out resources like this one or to support local businesses and your community. Our friends at Female Founders Fund also put together this roundup. Reach out if we can help you in anyway, and share anything we should include in our upcoming newsletters here.

In the meantime, here are the five things we’ve been reading this week that we think you should, too.

Take care of yourself and each other,
Your friends at The Working Assembly

Netflix and Chat?

In these times, when it seems every hour brings increasingly troubling and dire news, a silver lining has been seeing the interesting ways people are adapting to the situation. From cocktail delivery services to Michelin-starred restaurants converting to community kitchens, there is now a chrome extension for our old faithful friend Netflix that allows us to watch shows with our friends remotely. It’s called Netflix Party and features include streaming at the same time and a chat to socialize. Vulture has compiled a list of comfort shows to watch and if you get bored of watching shows, here’s a list of all the musicians streaming live shows. What a time to be alive. — MC2

This is NOT a drill

In this time of personal hygiene panic, brands, and news outlets, mothers are telling everyone what they should be doing in order to best prevent the spread of COVID-19. And if you’ve been on Instagram and Twitter as much as I have this week, there’s no doubt you’ve also come across several graphics either borrowing information from the CDC, or just tips and tricks on how to wash your hands while bustin’ a move. While the memes may be thriving this season, most of these guides and graphics aren’t. It seems the crazed panic has effectively thrown basic design principles out the window. Take a break and have a laugh at some of these examples from around the web, but don’t hurt yourself trying to read them :) — CB

The COVID-19 Registry

It’s not often that the whole world goes through a shared experience like this. Each day it feels like the rules of the government, economy, health, and society are shifting under our feet. Well now, MIT researchers have developed an app to make it all just a bit more surreal. The app alerts users when they are within close proximity of other users who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. I’m not sure how effective it will be considering it only works if citizens opt-in en masse and it makes individuals who have been diagnosed virtual pariahs thereby disincentivizing them to join, but I guess it can’t hurt? Just put this thing in my contact lens and establish a semi-authoritarian government that forces people to opt-in and we’ll be at full Black Mirror. Hurray for 2020. — HY

Less Cooking More Reading

In the span of two weeks, working remotely went from a discussion in an executive conference room to the law. And it is a rare opportunity for workers to prove that they are just as effective and productive while not in the office. But home is a special place and there will inevitably be some changes. Last week, a friend of mine said he’d taken a call while in his pajamas and making breakfast. Another said she called into a meeting while making a smoothie, strategically muting and unmuting, starting and stopping the blender as needed. If you’re not as audacious, or lack that special affinity for culinary endeavors during conference calls, the New Yorker has compiled a great list of movies, podcasts, and things to read for the time being. The recommendations are spot on, and it’s probably better for your job security. Better than an attempt to flip a three cheese, onion, pepper, and smoked ham omelette during a pitch. — MC2

Global Pandemic Cures FOMO

Times like this bring out people’s sense of humor it seems. It’s a way to keep us sane and entertained. Some say it’s “too soon,” but these COVID-19 memes offer a sense of relatability and light to a truly scary situation. There’s nothing else to do when seeing the “Me sending my dog out for supplies since he can’t contract COVID-19” meme, but laugh and smile (because you might have had the exact same fleeting thought). The point of comedy is to reduce the tension. So let this scary time teach you about the art of washing your hands, the advantage of being able to cook, the virtue of being messy so you have something to clean up, the art of having a hobby (is drinking a hobby?), and the beauty of a good joke (like the fact that COVID-19 cures FOMO). Stay safe, wash your hands, and remember to laugh. — RW

The Working Assembly is an award-winning multidisciplinary design studio with a focus on branding and visual design.

Founded in 2014, we partner with clients and agencies for end-to-end brand building, including strategy and visual identity, print and digital design, content and creative communications.

Have a project in mind? Let’s talk.



NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
The Working Assembly

NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.