Stories from around the web that found our fancy

At Paper Planes, we love to read — and we’re consistently drawn to great stories centred around design, books and culture. With ‘Things to Read’, we share with you the best stories from around the web.

Amid a seemingly endless and often menacing news cycle are stories of people, culture and design that offer much respite. This time especially, we’ve curated a list of stories that are thought-provoking, humourous and may help you crack a smile. Read on.

Room and Bored
Journalist and comic artist Krish Raghav (who we recently featured under our Eye Candy series) and his partner, photographer Yan Cong, were quarantined separately in a Beijing hotel for 14 days upon returning from the USA. Separated by just a hallway and yet unable to physically interact, the two documented their stay via photographs, comics and words in The Washington Post. The story offers an in-depth look at the surreal experience of a couple isolating separately, despite being so close to each other. Read it here.

Hannah Gadsby on Comedy Trolls, Anti-Vaxxers and Burying Her Dog
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby, whose Nanette was path-breaking, has the ability to weave into her jokes all those issues that might have been considered too “uncomfortable” for comedy. She’s back with a new Netflix special Douglas, which released last week, and talks about the show, her autism and trauma in this interview with The New York Times Magazine. Read it here.

Coronagrifting: A Design Phenomenon
This piece has been the talk of the town amongst the international design community — and for good reason. Architecture critic Kate Wagner writes about “coronagrifting”, the phenomenon where cheap mock-ups of COVID-related design “solutions” that are simply PR gimmicks get coverage by design websites, on her blog McMansion Hell. Definitely worth reading. Read it here.

One Country, Two Internets
Rest of World is a brand-new platform focused on covering stories on tech that aren’t dominated by the west. This piece illustrates a day in the lives of two students — one in Kashmir and the other in Tamil Nadu — attending classes online due to the pandemic in order to highlight the current state of curbed internet access in Kashmir, and the subsequent loss of agency for its people. Read it here.

The New Relationships That Fizzled Out in Quarantine
A lot has been written about love in quarantine. This story in The Atlantic talks about the ones who didn’t make it — the budding romances and the newly formed couples. It highlights how important physical proximity is to a developing relationship and the strange heartache that comes with the loss of a promising partner. Read it here.