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Interface design Sustainability

The effect of global warming on interface design

Al Gore in front of a globe

The care for earth as our only habitat, source of food and storage for waste did get our attention over the last years. And as with every major cultural or political movement it had effect on visual culture as well. We look at the earth as a magic, fragile object. And when it comes to global warming we face universal problems.

Todays most widespread and popular outlet of visual culture is the user interface. I’m not a cultural expert, but I do think it’s rather funny we see representations of the earth and galaxy returning in todays most popular interfaces. Those images are carefully selected and could as well been renderings of little fish or exotic plants.

Below are popular interface examples. New media is making the world a smaller place ;)

  1. The music-player in the Sony Playstation 3 shows moving images of the earth (video)
  2. The new background-set in Apple Mac OSX Leopard has Earth images
  3. And Earth is the Apple iPhone default screen
  4. Google Earth turned around 180 degrees and now looks up the sky

Do you know other examples? Please share.

One reply on “The effect of global warming on interface design”

Not really interface design but earth inspired well known visual outlets popped up everywhere in the world of branding too. First – I guess we all know – the Discovery Channel logo, and the branding of their cycling team featuring multi-TDF winner Lance Armstrong. And there is/was the Honda F1 team, showing off a giant globe on their racecars. Probably as a statement to their considerations for the planet.

In my opinion the Earth itself is one of the biggest inspiring things we can find that we still have a connection with, and serves us a direct purpose. Something that doesn’t apply for the universe (although it is probably an inspiring place).

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