A breakdown of my favorite podcasts in production.


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Design Matters with Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman’s podcast is simply put, amazing. I’ve listened to her for years, and she is a pioneer in the podcast space. My only gripe is that Design Matters is not available on Spotify. She has conversations with some of the most influential, and successful creatives in the world. The podcast website allows you to search for past shows based on career which is phenomenal for a newbie that wants to learn from someone doing their kind of work.

Top episodes: Robert Wong, Robert Fabricant and Cliff Kuang, Jessica Hische, Cey Adams, Tim Ferris and Seth…

A 48-hour transdisciplinary design sprint focused on design activism

I’ve written an introduction to the introduction as a retrospective open letter. This is how myself and members of the Design Caucus committee were feeling prior to the inception of DC. It will give some helpful context before learning more about what we launched.

Strategic Designers,

What are we doing? I ask again, what are we doing? Are we not systems thinking, strategic, innovative thinkers and doers? Are we not this badass new breed of designers equipped to take on the most wicked problems the world can throw at us?

The world is falling down around us. Covid has demonstrated many of our systems were sick well before the virus took hold, and social isolation may just bring about their death. Unemployment is at all time highs. Entire countries are shutting down. A shortage of PPE and ventilators could cripple our ability to care for the sick. People are arguing what is necessary and what is the embodiment of fear over fact. …

Advice from the committee on forming successful cabals

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Our collective experience working on long term design projects, startup weekends, hackathons, design firms, competitions, and other contexts has given way to the following team considerations. Each suggested persona is not on their own enough to succeed, nor do we believe one person can’t fill more than one role. However, the ideal scenario would be a team of five with each member being disproportionately responsible for their role and supporting in or two others.

Lessons from an intensive strategic design studio

Today (5/27/20), NASA reaches a major milestone in the pursuit of commercial space. SpaceX will be launching NASA astronauts in their Falcon 9 rocket. It seemed like the right time to reflect on my experience of the past semester consulting for NASA on expanding commercial space. We also made this short video to inspire the vision NASA hopes to achieve.

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I sat at my desk, coffee in hand, CRNs ready, and tapped refresh for ten minutes before registration opened. The six-credit intensive studio with NASA as the client filled in three minutes, but I made it. …

New ways to spend your time if you’re less than employed.

I hope you’re all well in spirit, mind, and body as we continue our wild ride on the spaceship called Earth (Thanks Bucky!). I have decided to continue with these fun little guides for the time being. As a friend recently said, “two editions is an Op-Ed, three is a newsletter.”

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[For those < employed] as a result of COVID-19

This is a second round for the designers out there looking for new and cool ways to use their additional time. Shoutout to CodeAcademy for keeping me busy most of the day. Stay safe everyone!

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A resource guide for those of us designers found less than employed as a result of COVID-19.

If people find it useful I will continue to update on a weekly basis until the pandemic has passed and/or some sense of normalcy(?) returns.

Despite the many differences between designers like approaches, disciplines, and skills we all share at least one trait. We have a bias for action. I’d be surprised to hear a designer relishing the time to do nothing in this crisis. This is why this resource list exists. Unemployed or not let’s make some noise.

Algorithmic Impact on our Cultures

We often think of culture as a sum of parts. Those parts being the people, actions, and outputs of some system. Information is woven in and out of the system at various points, and influences the people, actions, and outputs. Some delivery mechanisms of information have a disproportionate effect on the culture of the system.

Religion may be the oldest, and most obvious of these delivery mechanisms. Prior to the invention of the printing press, Catholic priests were the main vehicle for biblical texts to be shared via oral communication. Their messages, and interpretations were monitored and controlled by the Catholic Church’s hierarchy. For centuries the culture of entire countries revolved around the Church. Wars were fought. Populations were controlled, and the world went on. …

A cocktail party perspective on resilient strategy design.

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Strategic Designer: For example, what’s your grocery carrying strategy? Both of you?

Goldman Sachs Exec: What do you mean?

Strategic Designer: I mean everyone has a general strategy for carrying the groceries inside from the store. Do you use both hands and set down a bag or bags to get the keys and unlock the door? Do you use one hand and to carry bags and one for keys? How does that change based on the total number of bags? Etcetera etcetera.

Product Manager, Facebook: Well I’ve certainly never given it much thought, but I suppose I use both hands and try to have the keys in one of my grips. …

So Listen Up Hiring Department

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Disclaimer: the people and events in this article are fictional, although the arguments and statistics are real, and this article is meant to function as a whole as a kind of fictional cover letter.

Design. Such a buzzword. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing it. In many ways the traditional connotations of the word have already been lost. The titans of Design: Eames, Rams, Ives, Norman no longer encapsulate the more general meaning of the word. I believe Design has begun to define an approach more than a collective set of actions. Design thinking is an approach to thinking (about anything really). Urban Design is an approach to urban planning. Game Design is an approach to creating games. Perhaps you’ve seen this video, and think of Design as an approach that begins and ends at post-it notes. …


Jesse F

Aspiring Comprehensivist | Currently a (slightly) above average Generalist

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