Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

We Need More Context, Less Information

You can't separate mind and body. Physical, emotional, mental - it all seems to mesh together. It would appear to me you can't separate information and thought from the context of the physical environment in which it's processed.

Why does Coke taste better in a glass bottle? Why does coffee taste better in a warm mug, sinking into a comfy chair by the fire?

We live every day surrounded by a gluttony of information. So much so that we are often overwhelmed with input. We may not even realize it, but we take in way more information than we can actually process. Much of it is random - or seemingly so. Our brain, which is hardwired for patterns, finds little use or context for much of what we take in. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that every two days we create as much information as the entire world did up until 2003. That's staggering. I suppose this blog post is just adding to the problem. 

Our senses, then, attempt to give this expanse of information context to process it correctly. Everything we take in is tagged by its experience and physical environment. The visual, smell, sound, and feeling that accompany each piece. Sensory experiences provide meaning. They help frame the data. The more robust those sensory experiences are, the more context that information has. It becomes more valuable. More memorable. Possibly more important.

We should curate experiences intentionally when we communicate. We should be thoughtful about the touch points around our information.

We should look to add more sensory hooks. If not physically, then through perception. How can we infer smell? How can we describe a sound? Great authors and storytellers have mastered this skill. The story experience gives the information unforgettable context. The implied smells and the inferred sights create a lasting impression. 

We live in a world full of information and devoid of context. I think we would do well to be more intentional in how we author the experience around our communication.

Comfort Murders Passion

Don't Become a Lamer Version of Yourself