Getting creative: thinking about #design and #science with @meritendurance


To let the cat partially out of the bag, I recently undertook a new creative project that tries to really highlight rivers, their histories, their futures, and the people who live, work, play, and research around them. It's several months out, but I'm getting excited to bring it into the world. More on that later.

This project reminds me that science is a creative endeavor. As anybody who has seen a cleverly crafted paper realizes, design, creative analyses, and good writing are largely creative processes. While I love science as a process and the places I do it, I turn to a lot of non-scientific media, art, and music for inspiration. My friend Chris once told me in reference to album artwork and LP covers, "we're (as a generation) post textual, post musical even, if you want to communicate, you have to grab attention, honestly and simply. It starts with design." I think that telling an authentic story, scientifically, or otherwise, requires embracing that parsimony and a sense of creativity as you spin a narrative.

Enter Salt Lake City's Merit Endurance. I proto met Jason Eichhorst last year at the Wasatch 100, where I paced my runner to getting lost and falling just outside of 24-hours (Mike - it was still a hell of a run!). We finished, and at the pavilion at Soldier Hollow, Jason was hanging out with his pacer, whom I later recognized from around the Wasatch Front. We maybe said, "hey, how'd it go" to one another and went our separate ways.


Later, via a combination of race results, and a Twitter follow, figured out that Jason runs a really classy website that, much like the skateboarding and punk rock fanzines of my youth, just feels authentic. Jason runs Merit Endurance, a "lifestyle*" website about the trail life. Clean design and simple content make Merit a nice check-in, so check it out. Maybe you'll get stoked for your next creative project too.

I wish I had chatted up Jason last fall, but alas, I didn't. Don't make my mistake, and holler at your boy if you see him afield this winter. In the meantime, get that coffee:


French Pressed from Jason Eichhorst on Vimeo.

*I feel super corny saying "lifestyle website," but anyway...