Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too.

Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.

Facial recognition facing delays

You know a technology is dangerous when even the corporations producing it are calling for stronger regulations. Facial recognition tech can match me to my baby pics but research has shown that it struggles more with darker complexions, which, in the hands of law enforcement, can be deadly. While IBM announced last week they will not be pursuing any facial recognition technologies, Microsoft and Amazon are putting a one year hold on the technology to allow for legislators to develop and review new regulations. This may seem like a rare act of self-regulation on the part of corporations, but some are saying this could just be a PR move while the company lobbyists work with legislators to develop toothless regulation for the years to come. — HY

Stay in your lane! (If you have one)

With cycling on the rise in this COVID-era of commuting, more and more people are using their bikes, and hopefully bike lanes, to get from A to B. This FastCo article features a brief look into years of data and research with the strategic design firm, Smart Design, on what leads to less collisions in cities across the US. What can be learned from Boston, San Francisco, and NYC is both quite surprising and not surprising at all. According to Smart Design, NYC is a death trap, not due to the cyclist or the drivers themselves, but in part due to a faulty civic infrastructure that neither provides clear signage, or signage at all. Boston’s the leading example with sufficient space dedicated to cushion the flow of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Check out the article for a quick read and some crazy way finding comparisons. I’m looking at you, Grand Army Plaza. — CB

Streaming that matters

The moving image is a powerful medium of communication. From impassioned phone recorded speeches to elaborately written films, videos have the power to convey concepts and ideas through emotion and storytelling that no other form of media can emulate. With the Black Lives Matter movement finally getting the power and traction it needs, it’s important that we educate ourselves about the condition of black lives in America and the change that needs to happen, but with the vast amount of content out there, it might be hard to know where to get started. Well Netflix has heard, and they’ve created a new collection that features both fiction and nonfiction shows and movies about Black experiences. So rather than watching another run of The Office, let’s instead try watching shows that expand and grow our knowledge of the world we live in. — MC

Maybe I don’t want to smile

I’m sure many women are familiar with the phrase “maybe you should smile more” or “you’d look prettier if you smiled.” Maybe you heard it from a colleague, a relative, or a stranger passing you by on the street. This seemingly innocuous statement holds women to an unfair double standard and pushes them back into traditional stereotypes. Men often don’t face the same criticisms. They can hold a straight face without fear of being called unattractive, unapproachable, or unfriendly. A study revealed being asked to smile at work can lead to worse performance. Well if there is any silver lining to the covid-era, maybe this is it. A mask means no one can tell if you’re smiling. One woman described the feeling of wearing a mask as liberating. For once, women can decide for themselves if they feel like smiling. — AC

Do better Vogue

Two years ago, Tyler Mitchell was the first ever black photographer to shoot a cover for Vogue- the September cover featuring Beyonce. This is something that should have happened decades ago and the new #VogueChallenge is demanding the fashion industry to do better. For instance, in 2017, Vogue published a cover featuring seven models who were supposed to represent a diverse group. However, many of them had light skin and were celebrities. Not exactly “diverse.” Readers around the world, especially young girls, not only want, but need, representation and it’s time Vogue and many other editorials step up and change. My advice? Vogue should start by printing one of the covers from the Vogue Challenge. — EO

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.
hello@theworkingassembly.com

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