Essays (2008 - 2021)


We Live in the Uncanny Valley Now


What Eyes Want

Are We Ready for This?

There Is No Digital World

What If Phones Were Actually Designed for Hands?

What We Do When We See

Can a Robot Do a Designer's Job?

A Pep Talk for those Who Work Bullshit Jobs

The Last Time

Move Slow and Preserve Things

Less Doesn't Have to Be More. It Can Just Be Less.

From the Desk Of

Systems Design is Not Enough


We Have Eight Years Left

First Principles

Why I Am Still A Designer

Turn It All Off

We Write, Therefore We Are Cyborgs

The Internet is a Bad Name

The World is Crowded and That is Natural

The Luddites Were Right

We Don't Need More Information

The Problem With Design is Designers

Think About the Future's Past

Encapsulated Experiences

73 Ideas that Should Provoke You

Progress Jams

The Power of Small Images

Other Ways

Future Objects

Your Phone is Destroying the World

The Circle of Now

The Riddle of the Square

Attention Stewardship

This Is Not Good Design

Search Engines Don't Work and They Are Not Good

The Biggest Dream is of the Small, Simple Life

Cross-Examining Coincidence in the Courtroom of Technology

That Coincidental Advertisement is Not Just a Coincidence

Good Prophecy Doesn't Have to Be Right

We Have A Reality Problem


Success Mysticism

The Place Where We Shelter


Active Erasure

We May Be at the End of Progress

Computer Nostalgia and Malignant Doppelwelts

Want to Resist? Delete Your Facebook Account


Unexpected and Realistic AI Headlines

Introducing The Liminal


Facebook Is Not necessary

Talking to Machines

Behind Every Robot is a Human

Unearthed Time Capsules

Words Matter

Design is Art with Rules

A Solution that Doesn't Exist

We don't fear the future…

A Slice of Life

How to Design a Different Future

The Magic of Ordinary Objects

When the World Around You Shook

Unchecked Attention Avarice

How to Think About the Future

Sympathy for the Sim

The Most Difficult Thing About Design

Technological Luxury is Powered by Oppression

Beneath the Interface Layer

How to Get Your Time Back

We Are What We Watch


Upgrading Our Way Out

Time's First Principles

Until They All Have Faces

Back to the Real Future

The Fit Filter

Street Ritual

The Gift in Our Work


The dream of the Nineties is alive…

It won’t be interesting until we can’t see it anymore.

Step aside, keep quiet, and listen.

Greetings from the Rubbish Patch

The Last Thing We Need

Enter the Void

Perceiving the Machine

Where are you, Digital Le Corbusier?


Keeping the Fire Lit

The Power of Perspective

Emails are the new blogs.

What is an idea worth?

We Always Start Now

The Designer Stands Firm

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Advertising is an Anachronism

A 200-Word Mixpost

The Cost of Cognitive Surplus

A.I. is U.I.

The way to make good things is to make many things.

Neighborhoods, the Anti-Algorithm

Everyone is someone else’s marketer…

Don't Think About the Future

Through the Looking Glass

Futures of Making and Being

Liner Notes for a Lifetime Mix

Thirty-Four (a lifetime film list)


Thirty-Four (a lifetime mix)

We'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow.

The information is not entirely online.

"I just want something real to happen."


We are all working for different futures.

Hyper-local NIMBYism (and Other Easy Critiques)

The Inexorable March of Convenience

21st Century Simulacra

Something Wetter than Pixels

A cup of tea and a crowbar materialize in space...

Truth and Ditto

Take Time

Flesh and Machine

Going Postal

Independent Brains

The Disappointment of Now

Time-Collapsers, Great and Small

On Expertise and Control

How to Tell the User's Story

Remote Viewing

Maybe that acquisition is just good advertising.



This Mediated Life


There’s a person at the other end.

More destabilizing ideas, please.

We don't solve real problems anymore.


Being Online in 2014

Loves and Resolutions


Don't Be So Linear

Stuck in Idle

Several Things I Have Learned

Playing with Data

On Digital Davids and Goliaths: Why the Design We Trust Usually Comes from the Little Guy

Future Daydream


Ethical Technology, 5

Ethical Technology, 4

Ethical Technology, 3

Ethical Technology, 2

Ethical Technology, 1

Smarter, Better Cyborgs

How Should We Contain the Cloud

The Folly of the Flock


We are Latently Enslaved by Our Own Ingenuity


Interview with John Maeda

Can Any Problem Be Solved?

21st Century Skillset

The End of Solitude

Time Definitely Has Value

The Great Equalizer

In Real Life



Interview with Silas Munro

Interview with Eric Karjaluoto