Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Episode 93: I Spy, You Spy

Jessica and Michael discuss visual surveillance and how Bellingcat cracked the Skripal case by corroborating information using ordinary photographs from uninvolved bystanders from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Street View.

The era where anyone can be a visual investigator full of possibilities both empowering and troubling, Michael says:
There’s something so seductive about it. And as designers, you learn early on the power of permitting the audience to connect the dots as opposed to connecting it for them, right? And how persuaded people are their conclusion if they are able to line up a bunch of things and feel, Oh, these all really do go together. Their conviction about what's true and what's not true is much stronger when they feel they came to that conclusion independently. And I think it's really easy to come to potentially multiple conclusions based on the same, or just slightly conflicting, information.

Also mentioned this week:
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Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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