Excerpt from Design: The Invention of Desire

Why is desire such a compelling, all-consuming human need? For generations certain kinds of lofty aspiration were the stuff of science fiction, but more recently the fulcrum of want has successfully shifted from wishful to probable. Increasingly this is the purview of technology, and in particular of personal technology, and wearable technology, and embedded technology, and all sorts of technology we haven’t even anticipated yet. That technology provides us with things, and that these things beckon with meaning, are the bedrock expectations upon which capitalis fundamentally rests, but they also inform the degree to which design can skew the emotional reach of need — whether desperate or playful, real or imagined, yours or mine. While desire can be a willful force, it can also be deeply irrational and, at times, frustratingly paradoxical. Therein lies its beguiling power to enchant — but also, it must be said, to deceive.

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