What We're Reading

A selection of old favorites from around the web.

  • In his 2010 talk “Designing with Forces,” Ryan Singer explains the design process from the perspective of form and context.  Form is the design objective--the thing we're going to change--while context is the ensemble of environmental constraints that will remain the same.  The shape of the form is constrained by "forces," a set of requirements derived from the user and the environment.  Singer does a fantastic job interpreting Christopher Alexander's Notes on the Synthesis of Form, a landmark treatise on design methods published in 1964.  [Vimeo]

  • In her 2011 article “Lessons from Late Night,” Tina Fey writes, “Producing is about discouraging creativity.”  She explains: “You would think that in your capacity as a producer your job would be to churn up creativity, but mostly your job is to police enthusiasm.”  This connects to the idea form and context.  A well-chosen context should focus design creativity where it’s needed, and help the design team avoid the terminal illness known as scope-creep. [New Yorker]

  • We’re waiting with anticipation for the banking website that takes the invasion of our privacy to its logical conclusion [McSweeney's].