Petra Ritzer


News – A personal point of view on the topic

Throughout the course of history news has been across with the increasing distance between sender and acceptor and the available diversity of media growing to a complex system. Written communication, video and photography are spreading internationally through numerous channels without any delay of time. To talk about an abundance of news needs to be examined critically, as the consumption is mainly happening within social media and we deal with it deliberately.

The needs of people to pursue news, has its origin in the will to participate in the proceedings and the communication in between. Media dynamics within the system are sophisticated and reactions are hardly possible to predict. The world of news creates a hyperreality of life, which barely relates to our actual lives which appears eventless and boring to us. One constantly gets a sense of lagging behind the common status quo.

Through analysing a huge amount of news it can be identified, that behind the different stories lie equal archetypes. Alain de Botton writes in his book “The News” that the world of news is based on 43 different archetypes. Stories with the same essence are therefore time and again charged with new content and afterwards reproduced.

Board topic

I want to explore the system of news in a critical way from a design perspective.

Personal interest

I ask myself how it would be easier for people to manage the huge amount of information and furthermore whether there could be alternative ways to communicate news.

Narrow specific assignment

People are checking the news constantly – e.g. reading the newspaper, browsing through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram …
While we are just living in the here and now, so much things are happening in the world – natural disasters, weddings of celebrities, new inventions, violent attacks, new computer software, fashion weeks, invention of novel medical engineering tools, exhibition openings, …
Because we try to keep up with all the information we somehow get the feeling that our life boring and meaningless, as our matters are hardly ever concerning a whole bunch of people.

Because of this, I would like to communicate the importance of the everyday occurrence and point them out in an interesting way.

As people are not able to manage the huge amount of information in the news I would like to simplify it with determining archetypical stories, like Alain De Botton wrote in his book “The News”. Furthermore I would like to categorize some of the current news stories in the archetypical structure.


Collection of ideas  mirrorMirror

An ordinary mirror is reflecting the room.  Additionally news are appearing in the mirror in real time. Depending on the amount of news, the room is visible or invisible.


The archetypes of news are translated into sculptures. Different stories from the news are projected onto each sculpture, to show, that there is only a certain amount of stories, which is repeated again and again.


ledSculptures with a LED surface
The sculptures have a surface made from LEDs. Instead of projecting the news onto them, headlines could be displayed through the LEDs.


Moving objects are showing through light and shadow the meaning of the archetypes of news.


There are many layers that overlay each other. The layers can be for example pieces of glass with a projection on it. On the layer far in the back, our ordinary life is shown. On the layers in the foreground news are appearing in real time (for example posts on twitter) and therefore our own life is getting invisible.


Clothes are made out of a curtain of LEDs. Through the LEDs headlines from all over the planet are displayed. The person wearing the clothes is nearly invisible.
Another idea could be to display the news of oneself on the clothes, as everybody is a source of news.


Hyper reality modelled with wire

News and information, which we spot in magazines, the social media or at TV, create a specific picture of the reality in our mind. These hyper realities are translated in physical objects with some wire sculptures made from a smart metal.
Smart metal can remember their basic form, when it is heated up.
In addition to the sculptures news are displayed on a screen. When the visitor is reading through an article, a certain sculpture is heated up and therefore is rebuilding its basic form. If the visitor is continuing with another article the previous sculpture is changing its shape again and the new sculpture/hyper reality is building up.

To create a more physical object, fabrics in between support the wire frame. To raise the feeling that the hyper reality is changing our perception of the world a lamp is casting light on the objects to create a long shadow in the background.


  1. “I would like to communicate the normal things in our environment and make them interesting.”
    I think our lifes are already interesting, arent they? If i talk to a friend after a Long time theres always stuff to talk about thats important for us.
    The Problem is that our lifes dont seem exciting for us cause we also live through the boring days and the News Show all the Highlights of other People, but they also lived through their boring days. Maybe work with that density of “Highlights”?
    You could work through your calendar and Highlight all things you did/ happened to you, that you would tell a friend even after weeks, months or years.
    Maybe you find out that every 2nd month there is something happening that is so important that you would talk to People about that in years?
    Or maybe you find out that there havnt been These Events in a Long time and you will set a day every week when you try out a new Restaurant, walk a different way to uni every week or explore another Corner of munich every month.

    “I would like to simplify the huge amount of information, as Alain De Botton did it by determining 43 archetypical stories.”

    I would be interested in These archetypical stories! Maybe if we would have a “object collection” (maybe not all 43 but the most important ones) of These, we would be able to detect the importance of News for ourselfes. example: oh this is a Story about the divorce of Angelina and Brad. well ist similar to story Nr. 7.
    Maybe not that stupid but if we figure out WHY this Story is in the News we can accept it as a normal circumstance Happening somewhere on the world and not affecting us. then we can go on with our lifes and do sth more important.

    i love the Topic but i would struggle with it so much cause i find it really vage and complicated!

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