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[Image source: John Thackara portrait, copyright Ilvio Gallo]

I’d say this focusing is an important component of what, another designer, John Thackara calls a macroscope.

A macroscope? Thackara says,

“A macroscope is something that helps us see what the aggregation of many small actions looks like when added together.”

Scientists have microscopes. Astronomers and peeping toms have telescopes. Designers, in order to see the very big, in order to see culture, which is much bigger than any one of us personally, have macroscopes.

The way I think of a macroscope is as something that shows you where you are, and where you are within something much bigger — simultaneously, so you can comprehend something much vaster than you suddenly in a human way, at a human scale, in the heart.

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June 25, 2009

Scope opened reboot11 in Copenhagen (themed 'action'), June 2009, by introducing Thackara's concept of the macroscope, asking how society should spend 100 million hours, and inspiring participation.

There is a video available.
Read from the beginning.