Magazines in a time of coronavirus: Real Review

by Kitty Drake in April 2020

Inspired by MacGuffin, which bases every issue around one seemingly mundane object, we asked the editors of our favourite magazines to share an object that brings them comfort. Touch now carries the risk of contagion, but strangely, that new reality has made the physical contact we do have — and the physical things we surround ourselves with — feel more precious. To begin the series, Jack Self of the Real Review tells us about his globe-shaped stress ball.

“Apart from Real Review and the other projects of the REAL foundation, I also teach a design studio at the Architectural Association. This year it is dedicated to “deep adaptation”, named after a text by Jem Bendell. The studio has been researching our planet’s future (as well as our own species’), the extent of our climate emergency, and proposing different ways architects can help to avoid the likely coming societal collapse. This was before the pandemic.

Understandably, our research made me rather anxious at times, so I got a stress ball in the shape of the Earth which lives on my desk. It acts both as a simple vent for frustration, as well as a reminder that from the planet’s perspective there is no crisis.

As much as humanity is suffering right now, the natural world has the exact opposite experience: thriving, and taking advantage of a much-needed break from our activities.”

— Jack Self

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