Friday Fives, Vol. 131

Happy Pride!

Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too. Next week, we’ll be taking time off for the July 4th holiday, but we’ll be back on July 10th with more stories to share. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate the last weekend of Pride Month, check out some of these virtual pride events and attend Global Pride tomorrow.

Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.

The End of the #GirlBoss?

In 2020, American workforces are facing a reckoning and employees, more than ever, are sensing a need for deep change. One particular topic getting revisited is the infamous #GirlBoss trend that blew up in 2014, thanks to Sophia Amoruso’s book, “Girl Boss.” The book encourages career women simply taking power for themselves at the office instead of dismantling the power men wielded. However, Amorosos idea of being a girl boss is quite problematic, according to Leigh Stein. In a recent essay, Stein writes “The white girlboss, and so many of them were white, sat at the unique intersection of oppression and privilege.” The focus on racial inequity can no longer be avoided, especially with the new momentum of #BlackLivesMatter. And #BlackLivesMatter is much more than a movement against police brutality; it’s about audiences no longer accepting harmful behaviors of those in power, regardless of gender. It’s time the Girl Boss movement stepped up in solidarity and finally put racial inequity on the radar. — EO

Kanye West x The Gap

It is no question that The Gap has been struggling for many years now. Gap Inc. which also owns Banana Republic and Old Navy, has seen sales plummet in the past few years and closed more than 100 stores. In order to revive the brand, The Gap has partnered with Kanye West for a new clothing line called Yeezy Gap. The partnership may seem like an unexpected pairing, but Kanye West worked at a Gap when he was younger and in 2015 claimed he wanted to be “the Steve Jobs of the Gap.” As fashion retail continues to take a hit because of COVID-19, it will be interesting to see if Kanye West can save The Gap. — EO

An Artist Close to Chlorophyll

Barcelona’s El Liceu opera house has, yes, reopened with its first show to about 2,000 plants. Concert for the biocene, concepted by artist Eugenio Ampudia, was rooted in a metaphor for his quarantined experience. For him, the idea stemmed from his newfound intimacy with nature, “I heard many more birds singing. and the plants in my garden and outside growing faster. and, without a doubt, I thought that maybe I could now relate in a much more intimate way with people and nature.” As many of us have begun venturing outside of our homes, I’ve also grown a similar appreciation, although not necessarily a green thumb. After the show, Ampudia branched out to over 2,200 healthcare professionals to whom these potted plants were later donated. Whether or not the plants enjoyed the show entirely is yet to be seen, as critics are yet to leaf comments. Click the link to watch the performance, the crowd puts their foliage together for a truly evergreen performance. — CB

Nothing warms a house like AI and AR

Over the past few months my home has become everything: my yoga studio, my office, my coffee shop, and my dance floor. As someone who has moved around with some frequency, my friends and family would tell you that I “nest” into new spaces quite quickly. Having a home that is comfortable, inviting, and feels like mine has always been really important to me- something I’m appreciating now more than ever. While I have considered painting a wall or hanging some new shelves, Ikea’s innovation lab, Space10, has given me a lot to think about with Everyday Experiments, their latest radical home concepts. I never considered an optical sound system, but by the looks of it, it would be pretty spectacular. — AC

Character assassination

Brand characters and mascots fill the consciousness of people all over the world: from Kellogg’s tiger to the mascots on football teams. There’s something about rallying around the personified idea of a brand that attracts us so much, but not all were created in the best historical contexts. From Aunt Jemima to the Redskins’ mascot, these characters were created in times where these stereotypes and caricatures were prevalent and, sadly, the norm, while things like Kodak’s Shirley Cards put whiteness as the standard to strive for. It is only right that as we as a society recognize our biases and mistakes, we not only take steps to correct them and break down harmful stereotypes, but also stop elevating whiteness above all else. — MC

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.

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

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The Working Assembly

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