Weekly Learning: Designer, Knots, and Dream Job

Designers for the 21st Century

Design for This Century throws out a bunch of fascinating ideas you want to dig in, among which are surveillance capitalism, ontological design, cyborg manifesto, decentralized storytelling, civic service design, anthropocene backloop, and cosmopolitics. Some are weird, but isn’t that exactly why you are curious to know more?

The conclusion is resonant:

designers in the 21st century must deal with the super-comprehensive realm where all academic disciplines and technologies are included.Problems we must solve, such as climate change and social inequality, can no longer be solved by a single discipline. All boundaries of not only gender, culture, and physical characteristics of people, but also human and non-human, human and the environment, human and machines, will merge and disappear.

Yeah, maybe we should just spend less time arguing what design is, and spend more time moving forward without leaving people behind.

System of Productivity

Productivity Is About Your Systems, Not Your People is a bit cliché for sure (you know how an HBR article is like: it can go from genius to crap in one paragraph), but it brings up a few interesting points, including this one about what medium to use for messaging:

The takeaway:

The pursuit of individual productivity is healthy and worthwhile. However, unless you work independently outside of an organization, the benefits of most “tricks” will be limited. To make a real impact on performance, you have to work at the system level.

That’s tricky, because for an organization, system level is also human level.

Much Ado About Knots

Graduate Student Solves Decades-Old Conway Knot Problem is a fascinating story of perspectives.

Dream Job

The Dream Job That Wasn’t explores the paradox of “doing what you love” and the romanticization of it:

“This isn’t to say that loving what you do is bad—we all want to find meaning where we can in our lives, and many of these dream jobs involve caring for others and the natural world—but the romanticization of certain types of work can obscure the simple fact that they are jobs and, like any job, require mass organizing to suck less.

We should understand work as work, and that no job, no matter how much you love it, is an exception.”

Difficult People

How to Deal with Difficult People on Software Projects offers both satire and peculiar insights about people in organizations.

And it’s friendly, nice, and cute.

The First Things First Manifesto

Isn’t this fascinating?

In 1964, 22 visual communicators, young and old, signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. In 2000, 33 designers signed a revised version of the original call, and in 2014 — on the 50th anniversary of the manifesto — over 1600 designers around the world renewed their commitment to the First Things First Manifesto.

What Did Alan Cooper Read?

Curious? Find out here. My fav are 3, 4, 7, and 11.

If you don’t know who Alan Cooper is. You should.

WTF is a Bar Experience?

Do you miss your bar? I don’t.

Try this if you do.


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