New World: Explore creativity and its role in rebuilding a better world
Together with Today at Apple, we’re launching a 12-week programme of hands-on virtual sessions and Creative Guides with top artists and designers across the globe.
New World is a 12-week programme of free hands-on virtual sessions and Creative Guides taking place throughout February, March and April. Hosted by Today at Apple and It’s Nice That, these sessions will be focused on exploring the power of creativity to bring about change, fostering connection and collaboration, and learning new creative skills to rebuild a better world.
Even the most staunch optimists among us would be hard-pressed to call 2020 a good year. It was difficult, challenging and terrifying at times, and we all had to adjust to a new rhythm and way of existing. Needless to say, 2021, so far, has hardly been the fresh start many of us were craving.
As things stand, however, we’re far from despondent when reflecting on the past 12 months and considering the future. As is often the case, out of tragedy arose great things. A sense of community was born, locally and globally. Outdated social codes were thrown out the window and systemic issues were brought to the fore. Despite finding our tried and tested forms of communication cut off, somehow, we remained connected. So, while there is clearly much more work to be done, no matter which way you look at it, we are living in a new world. And in this new world, creativity has a new role.
Together with Today at Apple, we’ve partnered with some of the most exciting creatives across the globe to demonstrate how creativity can help us rebuild a better world. Over the next 12 weeks, these creatives will be running live hands-on sessions, sharing a key skill from their own practice and discussing how their work fits our title for this series: New World. The sessions are all free to sign up to and will be delivered online, so that anyone can take part. They’re a continuation of Today at Apple’s work producing free hands-on sessions in Apple stores across the world and online. A far cry from your typical creative talk, though, these sessions provide the chance to learn tangible skills, make something, and be guided through that learning live by a top creative.
Coming from the fields of graphic design, illustration, fine art, photography and everything in between, our line-up of over 20 creatives hails from New York, Barcelona, Mumbai, Beirut, London and many more cities worldwide. Today, we’re excited to announce the involvement of Cachetejack, Joshua Kissi, Camila Falquez, Konstantinos Trichas, Sara Andreasson, Shan Wallace, Sprint, Studio Dumbar, Studio Nari, Thukral & Tagra, Vocal Type, Studio Safar, and WWWesh Studio. Some of their sessions are already available to sign up to here, and we’ll be announcing many more soon, so keep an eye on the New World series page, and the Today at Apple site.
Alongside the live sessions, we’ll also be publishing five Creative Guides on It’s Nice That, which you can complete at any time, at your own pace. These will also be led by a creative, who will walk you through the entire process. Both the hands-on virtual sessions and these Creative Guides will offer you the chance to learn something new, from creating a typeface to taking a perfect portrait to designing a flag for the new world.
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Camila Falquez: Untitled from the series Afropunk, Brooklyn (Copyright © Camila Falquez, 2017)
What do the creatives in our line-up make of the opportunities 2021 brings with it? One participant, Camila Falquez, a photographer living in New York, celebrates beauty in all its forms, especially in communities that are often overlooked. For her, 2021 ushers in the chance to expand our circles. Describing this moment as one of “resilience”, she states that “beautiful things grow from that sense of standing together and helping each other.”
Many of the creatives expressed this sentiment of togetherness, including Liza Enebeis from Studio Dumbar (the famed Amsterdam-based design agency), who believes we’ll continue to value the “power of more than one” this year. She goes on: “I am hopeful that 2020 taught us more about the power of togetherness, and the idea of working together – that it is the only way we can move forward if we want to make a positive difference in any field.” It’s this, in combination with creativity, she says, that will help us mark a “new beginning”, adding: “We still have a long way to go in creating a world that is inclusive, fair and sustainable but with creativity on our side, we can take the step forward.”
Several of the creatives involved echo Liza’s final point and are hoping 2021 will see cultural and societal change amplify the voices of those who have previously been silenced, and that creativity is a major tool for making this happen. “I’m hopeful about the stories we will be able to tell creatively becoming increasingly diverse and nuanced in perspective,” says photographer and filmmaker Joshua Kissi, who is also a founding member of See in Black. “Creativity will help bring empathy and understanding when it comes to stories that aren’t the usual standard.”
Tré Seals, the founder of Washington DC-based type foundry Vocal Type, believes that now specifically is the moment when creativity will help us achieve that kind of nuanced perspective. “Before the pandemic, so many of us had the privilege of hiding, of burying our heads in the sand and ignoring what is going on in the world around us – to ignore Black lives, to ignore climate change, to ignore everything going on in this world.” Today, however, that is impossible to do and so Tré hopes “that we continue to stand” in the coming year. He’s steadfast in his belief that creativity will be the thing that achieves that too: “Once the world stops seeing creativity as only art and music, creativity has the power to solve anything.”
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Sara Andreasson: Fiery (Copyright © Sara Andreasson, 2018)
An illustrator based in London, Sara Andreasson continues this empowering thread, saying, “I think a lot of people had some real eye-opening moments in the past year.” She’s hopeful that these moments will act as “fuel for political change” in 2021 and that visual culture, in particular, will be an essential means of making that happen. “I don’t know if images can solve any problems in and of themselves, but I think they can at least help raise awareness and inspire further action,” she adds.
For Hatem Imam and Maya Moumne, the forces behind Beirut-based Studio Safar, the past year brought its own local challenges. “2020 has been a tumultuous year for everyone, but it was particularly tough for us in Lebanon,” Hatem tells us. “A peoples’ uprising, a devastating explosion, and an economic collapse came on top of the global pandemic. Against such a grim background, it is hard to imagine thinking about hope.”
Nonetheless, there is still much to look forward to, says Maya: “A new generation of university students are taking the lead on affecting change and casting behind the vices that have plagued the country for years. They are winning over hearts and minds with their energy, solidarity and inventiveness. It is a fact that they have been dealt a terrible hand, but instead of sulking and complaining, they’re taking matters into their own hands and rewriting their own future.”
Caterina Bianchini, creative director and founder of London-based graphic design studio, Nari, perhaps sums up the emotions of many, when she says: “I am hopeful for a year filled with positivity, even if that energy only comes from putting a difficult year behind us. If we can at least try and channel this newfound resilience and strength, and apply it positively throughout everyday life, I think we’re in for a much better 2021.”
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Sprint19, Leonhard Laupichler: New Aesthetic exhibition, Artifact c/o Spazio Maiocchi, Milan (Copyright © Sprint, Leonhard Laupichler, 2019)
We’ve already seen how creativity helped us adapt during 2020: creatives learnt new skills, tested their limits, connected with and encouraged each other to continue making, and used their talents for social good – remaining resilient through turbulence. As we begin a new year, creativity will now need to take on a new role again. Make sure you sign up (check out the upcoming events below) to take part in our New World series and continue this exploration into creativity and how it can help us to rebuild a better world.
Thukral & Tagra
Design your own digital pet
The Delhi-based art duo will lead a playful and thought-provoking session, in which participants will create a virtual pet designed to comfort them and keep them company.
Wednesday 3 March
Reimagine your environment
The artist will demonstrate how he documents the buildings, streets and residents of his native Mumbai and rearranges them in his work. He will then task participants with reimagining their own surroundings, constructing new forms using ProCreate on iPad.
Thursday 4 March
Draw bodies to celebrate difference
The Swedish illustrator will discuss how she has built a reputation for depicting bodies that don’t conform to traditional beauty norms, before working with participants to create their own bold compositions.
Monday 8 March
Moodboard your dream shoot
The New York-based photographer, who has photographed everyone from Lil Nas to Kamala Harris, sheds light on her process for gathering together references and inspiration. Then participants will be tasked with moodboarding their dream photoshoot.
Wednesday 10 March
Make portraits with meaning and personality
For international women’s day, the Los Angeles-based photographer will guide participants through the process of interviewing an important woman in their life, before leading a session on how to take photos that represent and celebrate who they are.
Thursday 11 March
Craft powerful narratives through magazine cover design
Maya Moumne and Hatem Imam, founders of the studio and of Journal Safar, will discuss how they came to launch their own magazine. Participants will then experiment with text and image to design their own magazine cover.
Wednesday 17 March
Design a flag for the new era
The Paris-based multidisciplinary studio uses technology to push the boundaries of design. In this session, participants will have the chance to create their own flag to represent the new world they want to see.
Wednesday 24 March
Make type talk in an original poster
Caterina Bianchini, the studio’s founder, will demonstrate how she uses typography in her own projects to express emotions, before setting participants a poster composition brief.
Thursday 25 March
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.