Weekly Tings

  • These Fake Flyers are cool.

  • Wavey Garms instagram feed for you UK street fashion fix. They have also released a book.
  • There is a thing called “agnotology”. It is the study of how ignorance is deliberately produced. Link. 

  • Design in tech report - useful reference on where industry is at, skills, jobs etc. Thought lots was very interesting. In terms of skills for product designers, he talks about unicorns not just being designers who code, but also designers who can write. Fully agree. 

  • The Tyranny of Strucutrelessness - as posted in design and NYC All. I think its really interesting about the pros and cons of structure, different kinds of structures for different contexts, and how structureless hides power. 

  • Been refreshing myself with all things Humanism this week - this organization is worth a look for anyone interested. 

  • My colleaugue Jason keeps referencing this when we are talking about projects. Its a really useful reference. 
  • I read this book on Practical Design Discovery this week. Its really good, pragmatic guide. What I also like, and have been trying to encourage here is that Discovery should be practiced as both understanding requirements in context, whilst also doing some exploration: considering different solutions to address those requirements. It’s through the tension between trying to understand the problem and trying to solve the problem that the team gets a clear vision of the design direction. This is what I have been encouraging on short projects and its good to see it here articulated very well. It also chimes a lot with the way Daniel Burka talks about research being used at Google Ventures here. Fast, Actionable, Immediate.

Weekly Tings

  • I suggest you read this. Its really good. What I found most profound is how he points out these glaring contradictions in relation the way we think about capital, technology and innovation. Also, what I found really profound is the description he gives in relation to the very contemporary discussion around jobs - either being taken by 'Foreigners' or by 'Machines'. Whats interesting to me about this argument is he points to specific tax and corporate deregulation and how it incentivised certain behaviours. Pre these regulations business executives would be taxed relatively heavily on profits. This meant they could either use profits to fund research and development, give staff raises, hire more people or essentially give big swathes of profit to government. When these tax reforms as well as corporate reforms came in CEO's and shareholders could also take way more of profits in dividend payments or stock options. Additionally, all the elements of the book about bureaucracy, the behaviours bureaucracy encourages and the amount of time and effort that goes into admin over actual work really compelling too.

Weekly Tings

Theres been a lot going on in the US and the UK the last two weeks that overall have felt a bit depressing. So... have this GIF

But, there are two things that have really struck me; 

  • Just how irrational it seems to take a step towards isolationism and protectionism, when today, the world is obviously interconnected through technology, ease of travel as well as global issues such as conflict, climate change. These are clearly problems that require global solutions and mean that governments have responsibilities to the world, not solely their sovereign nation. On this basis, and to try and get a sense of what an alternative system and way forward looks like I have been reading Peter Singer's - One world now: The Ethics of Globalization. I highly recommend it as a way to try and make ethical sense of where you might stand in this mess, the complexities of the world, and a sketch of a way forward. 
  • How by creating a sense of unease, fear anxiety and coupling that with a narrative about today being a unique moment in history, powerful people are able to get support for and get away with things that in other times would be deemed unthinkable and immoral. I re-read Giorgio Agamben's - State of Exception this week that talks about this process and its politics amazingly well (although a bit academic) and also would recommend the book - Seeing like a state

On a lighter note - Victor lent me 'Let My People Go Surfing' - which so far is great. Really positive book about doing business differently. 

In addition to this I wanted to share a bit from Utopia/ Dystopia conference I was at last week at ADO in Greenpoint. In particular I wanted to share what I got from Yves Behar from Fuseproject. He did a talk entitled '10 Principles of Good Design in the age of AI and Robotics' - referencing Dieter Rams. 

I found the talk really inspiring and really reassuring. Id love to go into more detail with y'all at some point and I feel a blog post coming on, but for now Fast Co have summarized it here