Jessi Baker

Designer & technologist

Jessi Baker is a designer & technologist experimenting with ideas for the future of the Internet and the future of branding. She works as an interaction design creative + technology strategist, whilst being obsessed with open data and the emerging Internet of Things and their impact on advertising and choice... read more

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China starts televising the sunset on giant TV screens because Beijing is so clouded in smog

A short talk I gave at the ODI event: Show me the future of food and open data, about Provenance and supply chain transparency. 

3D levitation with sound…

Happy New Year 2014. 

More transparent shopping

"For some people, it’s about whether the factory workers are being treated ethically. For others, it’s about the impact upon the environment. For a great deal more of us, it’s about checking whether you’re about to feed your child a Turkey Twizzler made out of freshly-slaughtered Romanian horse. Either way: in the age of globalisation, knowing where your product has been made or grown, and its route to market, has taken on a new importance.

Embracing this shift in consumer priorities is Provenance ( - a new type of search engine attempting to chronicle just that. From chocolate bars to jackets to shoes to chef’s knives, Provenance tells you where a product is made, who the manufacturer is and what the product is made from.

But while Provenance includes vivid personal stories from farmers, workers, craftspeople and so on, there’s no attempt to catch out corporations with their hands in the sweatshop, Roger Cook style. Instead, the site works in collaboration with everyone from small-batch producers to large multinationals in the hope that, by simply taking the mystery out of supply chains and worldwide commerce, the site will help shoppers make better choices. As well as gently forcing companies to improve their environmental and social impact.”

Provenance is featured in the Telegraph’s: 'The year ahead: ten amazing science and technology innovations coming up in 2014'. 

Is it wise and value-adding to announce specific bold sustainability goals without necessarily having a play-by-play road map for how you will get there? How does the value of intentionality manifest itself and how do big goals inspire big ideas? How does the voluntary release of total environmental impacts across the supply chain, operations and portfolio of products add brand value to a global company? Are the benefits of such transparency a no-brainer?

It’s time for us to move beyond screen-based thinking. Because when we think in screens, we design based upon a model that is inherently unnatural, inhumane, and has diminishing returns. It requires a great deal of talent, money and time to make these systems somewhat usable, and after all that effort, the software can sadly, only truly improve with a major overhaul.
There is a better path: No UI. A design methodology that aims to produce a radically simple technological future without digital interfaces. Following three simple principles, we can design smarter, more useful systems that make our lives better.

Krishna, Golden, “The best interface is no interface,” 2012.

Print by Robert Mangold


Long before multinational corporations discovered the usefulness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in ameliorating a public relations disaster, companies such as the Container Corporation of America (CCA) were pursuing the profit motive with a socially aware ethos embedded in practice back in the 1950s, as this amazing atlas shows.

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