Category: design

  • Resurrecting web marginalia

    Resurrecting web marginalia

    I’ve just spent a few minutes with Stephen Anderson‘s reflections on the Mighty Mind community experiment on Circle (which, as a platform… kinda sucks). Stephen wondered if the thing he actually wanted didn’t quite exist, and in amongst ideas threw out the term… wait for it… Webrings. The description from Wikipedia, if that doesn’t mean…

  • It helps open things out

    It helps open things out

    We launched Where The Light Gets In, a regenerative design field kit, last week in the Artefact Shop. It’s gone really well, driven in a good part by a LinkedIn post. Once upon a time, that would have been Twitter, but blog posts on a radically different social media landscape are for another day. We…

  • Mystery Thumbs and Feature Debt

    Mystery Thumbs and Feature Debt

    On video calls recently, I’ve been confused by a mystery thumb reaction which appears above my head at the mere glance of a thumb, like in the picture here. Was it a Zoom thing? Or an Opal Camera thing? Whenever it happened, I’d spend five minutes poking at various bits of software trying to work…

  • Towards a regenerative design toolkit

    Towards a regenerative design toolkit

    I have been working on a side project in the moments where I get the chance; a regenerative design toolkit called Where the light gets in. It’s a corruption of the Leonard Cohen lyric “There are cracks in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. I am less interested in the how, and more interested…

  • How to rewild a new garden

    How to rewild a new garden

    You may be thinking you’ve stumbled into the wrong blog. And I can understand why. Smithery is a strategic design practice, which admittedly encompasses many things. But never gardens. What follows, however, is a documentation of our personal experience of a nature-based design intervention, and then some broader systemic thoughts on what might have worked…

  • Exploring Regenerative Triangulation

    Exploring Regenerative Triangulation

    I started articulating some thoughts in the last newsletter about a triad, in the fashion of fragile–robust–antifragile (from Taleb’s 2012 book) , which contained the states of unsustainable, sustainable and regenerative. The main thing bugging me was that making something sustainable, and moving towards a regenerative version of it, aren’t necessarily in the same direction.…

  • Deliberate Data Leaks

    Deliberate Data Leaks

    For the past five years or so, I’ve been taking photos at Gatwick Airport. No, not of planes taking off. Nothing as exciting as that. Photos of the water refill machines. I know. Exciting, right? It’s up there with my growing photo collection of crap hand dryers inspired by Dyson’s increasing terrible forays into the…

  • Making the most of moments that matter

    Making the most of moments that matter

    As perhaps we all have, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting in the last few months about how to make those precious moments when people are together really matter. For a lot of people, the working week has been transformed by the pandemic, of course. Moving into this year, it feels that businesses now…

  • Fidelity, Non-linearity, and the Double Diamond

    Fidelity, Non-linearity, and the Double Diamond

    I’d recently shared the Design Council’s new Systemic Design Framework work, including a wholesale upgrade for the Double Diamond model that’s well worth your time. Having been a fairly vocal critic of the @designcouncil Double Diamond, it’s brilliant to see the work @catdrew_ et al have put into completely repurpose it into this, the Systemic…

  • Think of information as light, not liquid.

    Think of information as light, not liquid.

    In the recent Zenko Mapping video, I talked briefly about a new idea, a lens through which to see the world; we should focus on thinking of information as light, not liquid. It’s the fundamental philosophy at the heart of this year’s TENETS project, and will no doubt form the basis of Smithery’s work moving…

  • Assemblage Space for Service Blueprints

    Assemblage Space for Service Blueprints

    Yesterday I gave a talk on how some of the futures thinking from TENETS, specifically the Assemblage Space tool, might help teams move from current state to future state blueprints for Service Design. It was the talk I’d written yesterday’s Visual Fields post for. It was hosted by the fantastic SDN Dallas Team (thanks guys),…

  • Visual Fields

    Visual Fields

    I’m giving an online talk shortly. In an hour and half from now, to be precise. As always, as I get closer to a talk the more ideas come to light, as the particles of information collide with each other, shedding new light on things. Sometimes, when giving talks to a room of folk, you…