Category Archives: Design


Over the last year I’ve been equipping myself to make pamphlets. I’ve purchased several reams of beautiful French Paper in cover and heavy text weights, waxed linen bookbinder thread, needles, and awls and a bone folder. I’ve figured out how … Continue reading

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Zoolander startup

The hyper-accellerated software release cycles of the 2010s will be seen as the analogue of the hyper-miniaturized mobile phone designs of the early 2000s: a dubious goal pursued to an absurd extreme.

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“The many faces of research”

I just realized I never re-posted my October 2010 article summarizing James Spradley’s incredibly cool way of defining different types of research — by the role of the participant vis a vis the researcher. Here’s the text: Anyone who has ever commissioned, … Continue reading

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Dialogue: art-work, design-work, artisan-work

S: My view is that art is made without reference to the receiver. It is entirely ego-centric. It is thrown out into the world and if someone understands and desires it, it’s a miracle. Design is made with reference to others … Continue reading

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Pluritarian Pluriversalism

To someone born into an autistic universe controlled by a single set of strictly logical natural laws, the experience of empathy and the subsequent revelation of an empathic pluriverse redefines the meaning of miracle, and of transcendence, and of religion. … Continue reading

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Design and trade-offs

For non-designers (and immature designers) the toughest part of design is trying on different trade-offs. The reason it is so tough is this: while most people can shift between ideas with relative ease, it is harder to shift between conceptions … Continue reading

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Universal Design Praxis

I find the term Design Thinking inadequate. First, the term Design Thinking belongs to IDEO. As far as I know, they made the term up, they use it for marketing and it remains closely associated with them. It is uncomfortably … Continue reading

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Goliath vs Pebble

I’m going to get really concrete for a change, and talk about the apparent design philosophies and approaches of Apple Watch vs Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel. Disclosure: I have a very strong preference for Pebble, I predict they … Continue reading

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Gorging ouroboros

Every philosophy is a philosophy of some kind of life. For too many generations philosophers have philosophized about philosophizing to philosophers philosophizing about philosophizing. This has turned philosophy into something exasperatingly inapplicable to anything important to anyone except a professional … Continue reading

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Overcoming empathy

A disempathic world view: “We may be accused of lacking empathy, but this supposed deficiency is actually an efficiency, not only because there are convenient statistical workarounds, but because the very object of empathy is entirely useless. People can and … Continue reading

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On fighting well

I’ve been married for 23 years, exactly half of my life. I have two daughters. At times they have asked my wife and me how we’ve pulled it off. My answer has been: don’t try to avoid fights; learn to … Continue reading

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Gewollt – Ge’-volt (adj.) deliberate, intentional, intended (piece of art) contrived, awkward, cheesy * Gewollt occurs when art, which is supposed to be the exhibition of concrete, tacit qualities, is produced by explicit and general categories. Nietzsche said it well: … Continue reading

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The Republic of Reality

represent |repri-zent| verb [with obj.]  be entitled or appointed to act or speak for (someone), especially in an official capacity. constitute; amount to. depict (a particular subject) in a picture or other work of art formal state or point out … Continue reading

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Deliberation and experiment

The fewer participants you include in a deliberative process, the simpler the process can be. A solitary mind, thinking alone about personal experiences can come to a resolution pretty quickly most of the time. Each person you include complicates the … Continue reading

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Douche Theory 2×2 Model (R)

I plan to use this diagram to help me explain different approaches to design strategy. Human-centered design helps Douche organizations become Keepers.  

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Design as gift (edit for 10ke)

Design is like gift-giving. How? When one person gives another person a perfect gift, the gift is valuable in three ways: The gift itself is intrinsically valuable to the one receiving it. The gift is good to have in one’s life, … Continue reading

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Design and democracy

(Here we go again, with another iteration of my engineering vs. designing theme.) * * * Design begins with trying to please. This naturally progresses to trying to understand better how to please, and later, trying to cultivate the best … Continue reading

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Philosophy design

For the last several weeks I have been trying very hard to care about Anglo-American analytic philosophy. In general, though, (with some exceptions) I have found its problems and approaches to resolving problems too tedious, too inapplicable and too dry … Continue reading

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Intuition is a brilliant adviser but a violent judge.

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Hermeneutical/rhetorical bow

This is a redrawing of a diagram I played with in 2009. It is meant to show the relationship of making and understanding and how it weaves between thinking top-down in wholes, and then bottom-up in terms of parts. It … Continue reading

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