KNIT HAPPENS

what: knitted infographics
for: social experiment

In the mornings, I like to read "successful habits" books and other types of creative self-help materials. Most of them are like trashy romance novels—filled with unrealistic expectations and lots of pulp. But sometimes they have important ideas behind that pulp.

One idea discovered in the pages of these morning reads was that we're far too distracted by technology and entertainment. While this is part of today's realities, this particular text suggested that these levels of distraction could be hurting our creative productivity levels. It made me curious—how distracted do I become over the course of a day?

For one day, I tracked my base tasks (full-time job, professional projects, and "me" time), as well as all interruptions (social media, pets, and "miscellaneous" items such as knocks on the door or runs to the mailbox). Each chunk of time was then knitted into a single scarf, with each color representing a specific task or interruption. Middle-grays stood for work items. Blacks, whites, and darker browns highlight different interruptions.

Why knitting? It's somewhat analogous, naturally. Time weaves in and out of our days, a single strand holding our events together. Not to mention the idea that, in act of knitting, my hands touch every inch of that proverbial thread, just as that thread touches everything I do. It's very intimate. And it's digital, but only in the sense that my digits (my fingers) are used in its creation. Besides, knitting allows me to re-experience each second in an elongated method as I recreate the day with yarn. So, why not knitting?

Taking this idea and carrying it forward, the info-scarf becomes an analog manifestation of how digital distractions are impacting our lives. Can we do without the computer? No. Can we do without the constant connection to digital iterations of ourselves? Maybe.

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Each interruption becomes more apparent when the day is curled upon itself with all transitions exposed.

Each interruption becomes more apparent when the day is curled upon itself with all transitions exposed.

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The overall finished scarf measured twelve-feet in length, with each stitch representing two seconds, each row mapping a full minute.

Cut icons identify what each swath of color is meant to represent, giving a better idea of just how many interruptions of which type play into the overall day.