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Creative agency Six:Thirty presents Unread Messages, a pioneering research and design project exploring the ways in which technology is affecting how we think, act and behave.

As an agency whose tools are design and technology, a deeper understanding of audiences and users is central to our practice. With insights and perspectives from design research, we build meaningful brands and user experiences that bring positive and lasting value.

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Context +

The digitisation of our everyday lives brings limitless convenience and keeps us close to the people we love. Yet at the same time we feel rushed, isolated, even enslaved by our devices.

Unread Messages by Six:Thirty attempts to stimulate discussion amongst designers and the public around the social and ethical implications of current and future communication technologies.

Research +

In October 2015 an open online community was formed to gather opinion from 125+ members of the public. Discussion topics included social media, email and messaging, the “always on” lifestyle, notification overload, data deluge and device addiction.

From these attitudes and insights emerged three core themes:

Empowered But Dependent
Digitisation empowers us, saves us time and delivers tangible daily benefits. Because of this, we’ve grown ever more reliant on our devices; but any dependency has a downside. How can we avoid becoming restricted by the technologies we love?

The Curated Self
Social networks have allowed us to craft entirely new personas. These personas shine a light on how we feel about ourselves and how we wish to be perceived by others. This theme is about the upkeep of our new realities, and the demands this places on us.

Compulsive Behaviours
The idea of being always-connected is often too much to resist. Behaviours prompted by digital communication are beginning to interfere with—even shape—our daily activity. Are we controlling our impulses or are they controlling us?

Designers +

Based around these themes, Six:Thirty worked with a group of international multidisciplinary designers to provide innovative responses to the question:

How can we improve our mental wellbeing by changing our relationship with technology?

Their responses were exhibited at the Aram Gallery, London in March – April 2016.

Participating designers:
Dean Brown, Gaston Lisak, Takram London, Paul Macgregor, Matteo Loglio, Matan Stauber, Zanellato/Bortotto, Daniel Armengol Altayó.

Special thanks to Sam Edwards and Tom Holloway.

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