• October

Review of the Year 2011: October

Posted by Rob Alderson,

In October I became borderline obsessed with the story of an eight foot high Lego man washing up on a Florida beach. I spent hours trying to work out how and why this could have happened, losing myself in fantastical imaginings of the possible backstory that led to this bizarre event. Then complinig this review I realised I hadn’t ever thought about it since, and have no idea how it was ever resolved (if in fact it ever was). What a pointless anecdote – here’s our look back at October.

This month the world – and in particular the design community – was saddened by the death of Steve Jobs, pioneer, visionary and entrepreneur. The man who helped revolutionise the way we interact with technology, and by doing so helped shape the modern world, succumbed to cancer. A glance at his list of patents is enough to send the shivers down your spine. Also in October it was announced the world’s population had surpassed seven billion. Honestly, I have no idea how they worked it that out, but the BBC stepped up with a nice little way to work out where you came in the pecking order.

It’s Nice That was a place of beauty and intirgue during the long, dark weeks of October. We warmed the creative cockles with the illustrations of Eric Chase Anderson for the films of his brother Wes, we marvelled at Scott London’s shots of the Burning Man Festival, we were delighted by the tasty infographic from Information is Beautiful and we fell a little in love with Nick Hand’s book about cycling around the UK coastline.

My 2011 – Lindsey Hilsum

Anyone who came along to our In Progress 2011 conference was lucky enough to witness LIndsey Hilsum’s spellbinding talk about social media and the Arab Spring. The international editor of Channel 4, she has had an extraordinary year in the very midst of the year’s biggest news stories. Here’s a glimpse into her last 12 months…

What was the best thing you saw in 2011?

An old man on the street in Tripoli, weeping and greeting the fighters who had overthrown Gadaffi, saying: “They are all my sons.”

Who would you give a Best Person of 2011 Award to?

Tawakkul Karman, the Yemeni activist who shared the Nobel Peace Prize. She proved how brave and influential a Muslim woman can be in a conservative Arab state.

What was the most memorable thing that happened to you?

Covering the Arab Spring, especially the revolution in Libya.

Were you in any (metaphorical/not metaphorical) fights this year? Did you win?

Er – yes. Lots. But I was an observer not a participant in the battles in Libya.

What would you take from 2011 and give to 2012?

Hope. But I fear that may be misplaced. Change brings so many opportunities, but human beings have a bad habit of missing opportunities and repeating history.

What were you doing in October?

I was in Libya, researching the book I’m writing. On the 21st I was examining Gadaffi’s golden pistol.

(Top image from Roy Litchenstein: Entablatures)

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.