A creation myth for designers

Pyramid is a dirty word now. Thanks MLM.

This is how I conceptualise design. It’s a broad and inclusive process that links the real world with an org/business, translating people’s needs into the messaging, functionality and appearance of a business (company, org, etc…). It shows how design thinking overlaps with business structure.

This triangle has analogies to creation myths I have come across in Taoism, Christianity and even Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is how reality works! Humour me, I’m feeling poetic.

In the beginning…

was an undifferentiated whole. The infinite whitespace existed in timelessness.

Before a business…


A designer-strategist can help a team have conversations that human psychology is stopping them from having.

Designers need constrains. Clients need strategy. Designers should help clients create constraints out of strategy. That’s the gist of the last post. Now you’re all caught up.

Why should a business get a designer to define the strategy behind a project? Allright lets get into it!

Unfortunately, people in a group are biased. It’s no slight — we allare and it’s human psychology. Check out wikipedia’s list of cognitive biases: it’s scary long — but even scarier is that these biases are largely unconscious, so we are unaware when we are dropping the ball because of them.

Groupthink: The psychological…


Designers need constrains. Clients need strategy. Designers should help clients create constraints out of strategy.

A designer who’s been around the block a few times knows that working without design constraints is a recipe for disaster. Projects creep beyond scope as revisions pile up, clients and designers misread each other’s intentions. Projects starts to feel like wading through a swamp. You put on a cheery face, but it’s not that great.

Likewise, a business person who has asked a designer to “make a website,” trusting that the designer will know what to do, has experienced the same let down.

Because of this trust, most briefs are heavy on objectives but light on limitations. …


Something of a ritual for me when planning a visit to Eiko’s family in Japan every two years, is to re-evaluate the way I take photos.

Although these days I am taking less photos than I used to, visiting Japan is a sacred photographic expedition as I am allowed, even expected, to walk around with a camera. No matter how often I visit, it always feel like I have entered Mario’s Tiny-Huge Island where things are either miniature or giant. …


Ideas for businesses to keep their new vegans customers happy.

1. Glove change (duh).

This is an obvious one. Gloves in the food industry are a well known false sense of security. They look sanitary but can easily be the opposite. Enforcing this most obvious measure might be the hardest of all the steps mentioned here as it relies on the vigilance of staff, for whom a mistake in this area was previously forgivable (no longer!). But its importance is greater that it has ever been.

When watching food get prepped, seeing staff open doors with gloves on, making vegan and non vegan food…


As I do every two years or so since starting to share my life with Eiko, I am about to depart for Japan, this time to take some wedding shots with her family and of course, have a little look around and explore unfamiliar places with a camera. And as I have done on the last two occasions before departing, I am thinking, almost stressing, about how I will take phots, knowing that I will take many, many photos, and not wanting to do it in the wrong way. …


When I lost someone to the universe, cosmoverse or whatever people go when they are not people anymore, I worried a little that the person I knew was not what now existed, and that the things that held us together, flesh, family, had dissolved into time. I worried that they were now a needle in a haystack, lost in an infinite pool of souls, lost to a timelessness where our time together seems like a snap of the fingers, barely a memory.

But I’ve come to wonder if we know more of each other’s naked souls that I think. Kind…


(And a non-first person solution)

Six or so months ago I had an idea. I had been playing the old school first person shooter Unreal Tournament quite a bit in the evenings (read: a disturbing and shameful amount for a manchild of my age), as well as learning how to create levels and modifications for the game.

In the modern era, Unreal Tournament has a problem: it’s almost prohibitive. You need a keyboard and mouse to play, and a decent computer, and on top of that, a spare year or two to build your skills so you can compete with those who have been…


With some caveats, the iPhone was a capable — nay — pleasurable holiday companion. Before leaving for Japan this gone December I considered buying a new camera, but realised I also needed a new phone. I thought back to by 2015 trip on which I used a Lumix GX7, which was great, but remembered certain difficulties: uploading photos was time (and data) consuming and Geo-tagging was difficult and buggy.

None of the cameras I would consider this time around really solved these issues so I used the excuse to get the (second) best iPhone money could buy. Before embarking I…


Disclaimer: there are more questions than answers in the following article. I want to start a conversation, with myself if no one else. I say a bunch of stuff which you should consider as untested hypothesis.

I’m currently in Japan, visiting the closest thing much of Japan has to a rural area — a small town tucked like many in the crevasse of a mountain range, joined by others like it like pearls on a string of small roads that wind along rivers, underneath the mountain peaks and highways that cross above.

Not a great photo but illustrates the previous description pretty well. This is the carpark of a “last supermarket” — you encounter less modernity as you drive into the moutains.

I’m not seeing many young people. Two generations…

Ali Dark

Brisbane photography and design. Looking and learning. www.alidark.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store