Yet another Thing to consider as a Designer
Saba Singh
31

Long-term learning is a great topic, and I love the idea of exploring how design can more thoroughly produce “things to think with.” In hardware engineering culture, we make sketch models to help us prototype through rough-and-ready conditions and ideas, ask questions, etc. And I wonder if there might be some way of preserving those virtues for longer than the early stages.

In an abstract and philosophical way, I think about Ivan Illych’s notions of “convivial tools”—ones that are flexible, non-coercive, and appropriate-able by multiple users over time. It’s the very opposite of black-boxing, and a way to learn from people taking a truly open and flexible tool and making it grow beyond its creator’s first imaginings.

Writing-wise, it would strengthen your piece by expressing a bit more strongly the homogeneous nature of the current “learning” design choices out there, and then contrasting your idea of building in the design with some stronger language and a little more commitment. What could that really look like? Can you find some strong examples to link to? Etc.

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