Recommended ReadsJune 8th, 2021

To make ordering things convenient, vast landscapes are sacrificed to logistics

Hope Lumsden-Barry
Hope Lumsden-Barry, Senior Designer

A UK real estate firm calculated that for every £1 billion spent online, we must build 1.3 million square feet of warehousing to support it.

I think a lot about the ramifications of the ‘invisible’ infrastructure that powers our digital lives. The empty spaces of our world are filling up with distribution centres, logistics hubs and warehouses. This article by Charlie Jarvis explores the impacts (and intentional invisibility) of the global supply chain that powers convenience-driven online shopping:

The visions of frictionlessness demand empty space on an unprecedented scale. The more we buy, the more space we need to be emptied of life. Convenience — the learned demand for instant gratification — voids the world of its features, turning fields into town-size circuit boards. Yet at the same time, convenience demands that we forget the material costs of our desires.


Subscribe to Paper Giant

Once a fortnight we share our thoughts on design-related topics, review thought-provoking articles and share what's happening in and out of the studio.

Three paper airplanes flying through the air into people's inboxes.
Paper Giant

Paper Giant acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation, and the Ngunnawal people as the Traditional Owners of the lands on which our offices are located, and the Traditional Owners of Country on which we meet and work throughout Australia.

We recognise that sovereignty over the land has never been ceded, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.