When we consider how computation will enable everything and all things with us and without us, what’s left?

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  • China is leading in designing experiences at a scale and level of sophistication that astounds.
  • Most designers believe that visual designers will start to be replaced by AI in five years.
  • There are three kinds of design. Classical Design, Design Thinking, and Computational Design.
  • A computational designer understands computation at the level of code and networks.
  • A computational designer thinks critically about technology and its impact on people.
  • A computational designer leverages AI as one of the their tools to co-construct new ideas.

Everything that Dr. Kate Crawford has been saying is timely.

“Many of us now expect our online activities to be recorded and analyzed, but we assume the physical spaces we inhabit are different. The data broker industry doesn’t see it that way. To them, even the act of walking down the street is a legitimate data set to be captured, catalogued and exploited. This slippage between the digital and physical matters not only because of privacy concerns—it also raises serious questions about ethics and power.”

—Kate Crawfordvia SciAm, 2014

“There is no quick technical fix to bias. It’s really tempting to want to think that there’s going to be some type of silver-bullet solution that we can just tweak our algorithms or, you know, use different sorts of training data sets, or try to boost signal in particular ways. The problem of this is that it really doesn’t look to the deep social and historical issues that human data is made from.”

—Kate Crawfordvia Microsoft, 2018

David Bowie got computation right on the Internet in the 90s.

“We’re on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying. … It’s an alien life form that just landed.”

—David Bowie 1999 BBC 📺

You can pre-order How To Speak Machine: Laws of Design for a Computational Age from IndieBound to support independent book stores, or Barnes & Noble as a non-Amazon alternative, or Amazon because 80% of us tend to choose this route.

For all of AI’s “ick” we’ll have a few 🎉 “Yay AI!” moments too.


🎉 Microsoft Excel will now let you snap a picture of a spreadsheet and import it by Tom Warren

🎉 Making audio more accessible with two new apps by Brian Kemler 📺


Advice: Go make with computation, and don’t freeze. Be curious.

New Automattic Design Experiment

“The value of a computational design system is not to replace designers, but to augment the workflow such that a designer’s time is spent reviewing and selecting the best creative, rather than pushing pixels across a screen and cutting banner ads. Moreover, the immediate value lies in increasing design efficiency and speed — giving designers more time to focus on refining the system, solving creative problems, and improving the overall brand + product experience.”

Jeff Ong

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Next up is …

👉 Addressing Imbalance

Published by John Maeda

I'm a learner.

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