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The Joy Protocol

“Optimize for joy” was the advice my friend gave me when I decided to leave the job that […]

Designers Don’t Ask

This is the original article that became “Design Can’t be an Afterthought” on Women 2.0. I’ve left the original title, […]

A small manifesto for design

Disclaimer: I have made digital products for over ten years in a variety of roles, from the formal […]

A Letter to the Newly Minted Designer

 “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” Archilochus   You just graduated. Or maybe you have a […]

Compassionate Design

Designers have all had the mantra of user-centeredness beaten into them. But how many apply that same understanding […]

Give Up Your Resolutions

For the last five-some years, I’ve given up making New Year’s Resolutions. Instead I have what I call the New Year’s Project. Each year I pick a large topic, and spend my time on and off throughout the year teaching myself about it. One year it was futurism (an obvious topic, consider how many New Year’s predictions articles always get run). I read up on who were the leading futurists, joined a futurist group and went to their meetings, and worked on making predictions myself. I learned useful concepts like cone of uncertainty, and how to take the long view, and how to do scenario planning. But most importantly I learned we cannot know the future, and as we try to plan we must be always ready to shift. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying to plan; it just means maintaining a yogi-level flexibility.

This last year I decided beauty would be my project. Not art and architecture, which I have always appreciated, but traditional feminine beauty. I have always had an uneasy relationship with the ideals of feminine beauty– having been raised a feminist I suspected makeup and infrastructure garments were a tool of patriarchy to hobble us by taking away two hours of our life every morning. But hey, why not question my assumptions?

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