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Published November 18 2015

New issue about the forgotten ideas

by Peter Biľak

Many magazines rush to cover the very latest news, racing to be the first to get a story out. In WTW No. 6 we look at forgotten ideas worth a second look.

Works That Work focuses on the impact of design, on the difference that creativity makes in users’ everyday lives, on a result that is impossible to describe until an idea has been tried; the newest ideas are unproven, often still unrealised, only the vision of change, not yet a reality. Relevance, not recentness, is what makes us sit up, take notice and start to wonder whether we are looking at a potential WTW story.

In WTW No. 6 we investigate overlooked ideas. Perhaps in some ways they are failures, concepts that for various reasons never succeeded in making the transition to reality, in bringing the change their creators envisioned. Yet those failures can teach us as much as many successes, and perhaps even more. Unified Arabic, for example, is a proposal to simplify Arabic typography and potentially improve literacy levels in the Middle East. It has been rejected not on functional but political and cultural grounds, as is often the case with projects that involve fundamental societal changes. Another project, the World Passport, is a utopian attempt to erase all national borders. Part of the Second World War was fought with inflatable tanks, as we report in Weapons of Mass Deception. As usual, the issue comes with a mix of material that goes beyond its theme. Enjoy reading it, and do let me know what you thought.

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