computing design music

Artful Design

Ge Wang is the Artful Designer. Associate Professor in the Department of Music (and by courtesy in Computer Science) at Stanford University.

His book Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime is a masterpiece of photocomic that hides a book on the nature, meaning, and purpose of design in this age of technology, that hides a manifesto on values in practice.

Talking points

I make things that make me feel good.

Sufficiently good design

Design is a series of choices

Design not just for the needs, but for the values that underlie the needs.

(do we see value-wash?) Yes, things that were never designed with our wellbeing in mind.

What is good and for whom?

The choices we make hold implications…unintended consequences.

The choices we make in design hold implications for our users that are tantamount to taking actions ourselves.

The platinum rule: do unto others as they would have you do unto them.

Sustainability needs to be an act of design. What purpose are we serving? What kind of society do we want?

Questions about questions. We need to be asking questions for which we not only don’t have the answers, but those for which we don’t have the questions.

Activist? Yes, good things don’t happen by staying neutral.

Go out of your way to help good ideas flourish.

Motivation: There’s so much to be done.

Challenge: Education shift, education has trended to the transaction. How do we align the thing you do with what you are genuinely interested in.

The conversation was recorded at ACM Creativity and Cognition in San Diego in June 2019.