Design

The end of Design

Today I did something interesting – I eliminated Sketch – a UI screen design tool – from two more places in our design team’s workflow. I didn’t do it because Sketch is a crappy tool – it is wonderful. We did it because it significantly encumbers the flow of information within Read more…

Design

Design + Neoliberalism: Part I

DRAFT This living essay is still in draft form. It is a continuation from my Design and Neoliberalism Introduction – I would suggest reading that one first. Please mind the typos, half-finished thoughts, and informal language. If you have comments, please email them to me. The purpose of this essay Read more…

Design

Design and Neoliberalism

DRAFT This living essay is still in draft form. Please mind the typos, half-finished thoughts, and informal language. If you have comments, please email them to me. The purpose of this essay is for eventual submission to the Design & Neoliberalism Special Issue of Design and Culture. I don’t know if they’ll Read more…

Essays

Voting as a Symbol

Summary: Arguments often end up unresolved when one side values rational outcomes but the other is more interested in social signaling. This issue commonly arises when discussing whether individual Americans should vote in presidential elections. In a narrow, rational sense, most individual votes have no effect on the outcome, rendering voting a pointless activity, Read more…

Essays

Surviving the Hedonic Treadmill

Summary: In a rapidly changing world, it is easy to get disoriented or disillusioned about the state of progress. As humans, it is far easier to make judgements relative than objective ones, so a value judgement about the present state of the world is highly influenced by what you compare Read more…

Essays

Magic Circles II: Deviations

At their best, magic circles help us ground ourselves, learn new skills, give us meaning and purpose in life, and experience moments of rapture and ecstasy. Times frequently occur, however, when the members of a group challenge the fundamental structure of a magic circle. Depending on the formality of the Read more…

Essays

Magic Circles I

Some argue that the divine quality of humans – the thing that sets us apart from mere animals – is our ability to process abstract thoughts and share them through abstract communication. To this end, one of the most important games we play with one another is the magic circle. Read more…

Essays

Are designers promoting bad psychology?

Designers, world changers, we have a problem. Nobody has been happier than me about the recent uptick in pop-psychology books. I’m known among my friends and coworkers as that guy who tries to read everything – an I’m relatively successful – but I’m starting to wonder if I’ve been consuming too Read more…

Design

What is Design?

A simple way to talk about “design,” (without it feeling like a buzz word) Since Steve Jobs’ recognition with the re-emergence of Apple as a major player, “Design” has become fashionable. But the actual definition of Design can be a bit elusive. What does “design” actually mean in the modern commercial sense, Read more…

Essays

The Use of Knowledge in Society

     Welcome to Knowledge in Society – my personal blog devoted to the messy knowledge and human cleverness around us. I borrowed “Knowledge in Society” from the late economist F. A. Hayek’s pivotal 1945 essay The Use of Knowledge in Society, an essay that personally re-framed the way I Read more…