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Designing for Emerging Technologies by Jonathan Follett

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Chapter 14. Design for the Networked World: A Practice for the Twenty-First Century

MATT NISH-LAPIDUS

The Future of Design

Bruce Sterling wrote in Shaping Things (MIT Press) that the world is becoming increasingly connected, and the devices by which we are connecting are becoming smarter and more self-aware. When every object in our environment contains data collection, communication, and interactive technology, how do we as human beings learn how to navigate all of this new information? We need new tools as both designers, and humans, to work with all of this information and the new devices that create, consume, and store it.

Today, there’s a good chance that your car can park itself. Your phone likely knows where you are. You can walk through the interiors of famous buildings on the Web. Everything around us is constantly collecting data, running algorithms, calculating outcomes, and accumulating more raw data than we can handle.

We all carry minicomputers in our pockets, often more than one; public and private infrastructure collects terabytes of data every minute; and personal analytics has become so commonplace that it’s more conspicuous to not collect data about yourself than to record every waking moment. In many ways we’ve moved beyond Malcolm McCullough’s ideas of ubiquitous computing put forth in Digital Ground (MIT Press) and into a world in which computing isn’t only ubiquitous and invisible, but pervasive, constant, and deeply embedded in our everyday lives.

Augmented reality ...

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