Graphics: The Social Space Format

The power of images. It is going to take  a lot more than walls of words, thick reports and endless expert conferences to turn the world toward sustainability. So to help our cause we invite our readers to jump in and share with us striking “social space” graphics which illustrate the world’s streets and all that takes place thereon in many places and in many ways. And lo and behold, from time to time some very nice stuff pops up on the screen in our challenging 940 x 198 pixels format that you will see at the top of this page.

Working with a Social Space format

There is more than a bit of the “medium is the message” of Marshall McLuhan in this somewhat unusual elongated rectangular format with, as with poetry, its strict dimension of 940 by 198 pixels. It is, we would say, a basically “social space format”. In our mind’s eye most of us tend to envisage, to think of many things out there in front of our noses in terms of squares or near squares, which naturally enough is how most of us end up taking our pictures.

But this elongated frame takes us beyond a single individual subject and the eye travels quite further than usual and in the process brings us to think, yes, of more social spaces. Have a look at some of the following examples and see for yourself if this makes any sense at all.

India’s streets:

A few weeks ago, the great shot that you see at the top of this page was shared with us by Karthik Rao-Cavale, whose fine new blog “India lives in her cities too!” with its sub-title “A closer look at Indian cities, streets and neighbourhoods” at http://vishwakarman.wordpress.com/ — is a thoughtful source for anyone who shares India Streets interests and concern.

Karthik wrote when he sent it along to us: “I took this photo in 2008 on one of my solitary travels, in the large city of Calcutta. Here’s the link to the larger version. http://vishwakarman.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/100_08094.jpg. The background is the famous Howrah Bridge on the river Hooghly.”

Portugal’s Streets:

At about the same time we had the luck to receive and to be able to share with you the splendid street scene you see above, showing an intersection of bus services right in the middle of the beautiful city of Lisbon. And all this thanks to our colleague Miguel Barroso from Lisbon.

The shot is taken from the city’s historic Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square), and just behind those columns you enter into the city’s pedestrian network. Makes you want to go to Lisbon, eh?

Homage to a Fallen City:

For this thought-provoking image we sent warm thanks to Beatrice Jarvis, a young British choreographer, photographer and urban researcher. You can visit her website and see her photographs in Urban Re-Passages at : beatricejarvis.wordpress.com/

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A Paris homage:

Here is an example of using our strange format as a frame for a part of an image and, we would say, to some good effect. The orignal graphic appeared in a story from the New York Times to what our earnest editor contributed: “Watery future for the City of Light“.It looked like this:

Well, very nice indeed but we could not use it as our feature graphic for the story and the week, so we needed to find what would work out with our demanding format, to which challenge we came up with this.

You may like it or not, but there is no denying that this is a social format. And that is exactly what we are looking for.

Now it’s your turn:

And if you have striking social space candidates for this unusual slot — 940 x 198 pixels — let us hear from you. We believe in getting all the media behind these important social and environmental goals. (Please be sure to let us know of the image source so that we can correctly credit it.)

Thanks for sharing .

Eric Britton, Managing Editor.
Skype: newmobility. Tel. +331 7550 3688

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