Found/Saved/Subscribed/Shared - Anab Jain

What content has Anab Jain noticed recently, and why?


Welcome back. A quick story before we jump into today’s newsletter.

Last week, during a dinner we were hosting for clients, an interesting subject came up. How irritating do you find it when you settle down to watch TV with a friend or partner and they instantly get out their phone? I know! Infuriating!

Anyway. Someone mentioned that to avoid this they give shows an attention rating before agreeing on what to watch. For example, a drama might have a 90-100% attention rating (so phones are strictly not allowed) whilst on the other end of the scale Bling Empire will only have a 20% attention rating (so phones are more likely to be the primary screen).

I think we all do this anyway, but the idea of giving each other permission through the rating system got a few smiles and a lot of nods around the dinner table. After all, even the makers of huge Netflix series seem to be making shows for partial attention, something we wrote about in part 3 of Scroll Stoppers. Writing about Emily in Paris the New Yorker said “The purpose of ‘Emily in Paris’ is to provide sympathetic background for staring at your phone, refreshing your own feeds—on which you’ll find 'Emily in Paris’ memes, including a whole genre of TikTok remakes. It’s O.K. to look at your phone all the time, the show seems to say, because Emily does it, too.”

OK. Last week, we spoke to Rosie Yakob, Co-founder of Genius Steals, all about how content flows through her world. The previous week Steve Bryant shared his stories. Today we speak to Anab Jain.


Anab Jain is a futurist, designer and filmmaker. She is Co-founder and Director at Superflux, an award-winning design and experiential futures company, and research and art practice. She is also Professor - Design Investigations at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna. Anab is based in London.

I heard a new Radio 4 Show called 'I feel, therefore I am' which I enjoyed very much. I found it whilst surfing channels on the radio during a long drive after visiting family.

"Where once facts were the path to knowledge, 'lived experience' and 'my truth' now offer an alternative," reads the show's description, where Professor Abigail Williams explores the history of facts versus feelings.

I was particularly struck by the idea of the show because it articulates the idea we have been gestating and developing in our work at Superflux for the last 14 years. The idea that our embodied experience is the primary means through which we come to know the world. So much of our work invites people into different possible futures through such embodied Experiences.

Our sensuous involvement with the world - how a smell can prompt recollections of past trauma or love - cannot be plotted on a graph and yet is a real and powerful force, one that influence decisions more than we know.

I have tens of bookmarks in half read books! I get impatient with a book I am reading because I find something else related to the topic in the footnotes for instance, and jump onto that one and end up playing musical chairs with a bunch of books. I thrive on patterns, and relational content is my jam!

I only just found out about my friend Sara Hendren's podcast 'Sketch Model' and I subscribed immediately! I am very inspired by Sara's work and thinking, and in this podcast she talks about the humanistic aspects of engineering education, which particularly appealed to me as an educator.

I shared a story about my mother getting her pilot's license aged 19 with my son, as we happened upon an airfield on our recent travels. He is obsessed with the engineering and design of aircrafts and aerospace engineering, so when he actually got to sit in one of the small planes his grandma flew, he was over the moon. I then shared it on my private Instagram with friends and extended family. Think they liked it, and that was the only result really :)

Thank you for reading Attention Matters. This post is public so feel free to share it.

Thanks, Anab! A nice insight into some of your faves at the moment!

That’s it for this week. If you haven’t seen our Scroll Stoppers research yet, please do. Next week, we’ll be back with another creative mind letting us know what they’ve found, shared, subscribed and saved recently. Don’t forget to share this post with friends if you like it, and ask them to subscribe if they haven’t. See you then!