Andrew Travers

Andrew Travers is a designer and researcher. He’s the author of Interviewing for research.

2021: week 3

Posted on 23 Jan 2021

  • It’s been a week of solo home schooling. Restless, bored children; frustrated, tired teachers; sat on mute, staring at Microsoft Teams for hours on end, the actual learning is that this isn’t working for anyone. But on it goes
  • I’m one week into a break between design roles, having a few of those coy conversations you have as a means of thinking through what to do next. I’m acutely aware of my good fortune in being able to have this time. Maybe it’s these times, but I can’t remember the last time I felt this open, this in need of doing something radically different. I think I want to feel that sort of face-flushing fear again
  • This is the week I finished Spiral. There have been better TV series, but I’ve become especially attached to Spiral’s seemingly endless supply of flawed, compromised characters. Messed up and messing up. Beneath the procedure-flouting conventions, Spiral is an important, compassionate look at immigration and exploitation, of male power and sexual violence, of the humanity hidden beneath the visible layers of a big city
  • Signal's sudden growth has been a great source of serendipitous conversations in recent weeks. Those little ‘X is on Signal!’ notifications have become happy nudges to say ‘hello’ and reconnect. These kinds of conversations used to happen openly on social media, less so now. As Matt Webb writes brilliantly in ‘The continuing rise of virtual private neighbourhoods’, ‘this is the end of the era of global timelines’. Signal is peer to peer rather than community, but it's a Facebook-free space I'm enjoying being in
  • The week before Christmas, I stopped drinking. I’m saying ‘stopping’ not ‘taking a break’, ‘resetting’, ‘detoxing’ or any of that. Stopping. Looking back at last year, I was surprised to see that I stopped for 85 days at the beginning of the year before taking it up again — with gusto it should be said — when the pandemic hit. But I drank less last year than I have in living memory and this year I’m determined to go further
  • Stopping is made easier by good archetypes. So it was a genuine thrill to see Leisa Reichelt unexpectedly pop up to say she’d just completed a year off. Amazing. Leisa’s probably been my single biggest career influence so it felt appropriate to me to have her again leading the way
  • How has it taken me this long to find Tom Taylor’s Scraplab? Anyway, thank you Alice Bartlett and your ever-excellent weaknotes. I’m blatantly stealing Tom’s post titling for this
  • Reading: Lou Downe on Good Services, Stuart Cosgrove on Muhammad Ali as Cassius X, and James Clear on Atomic Habits
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