The second problem, quite apart from the stranger stuff, is that my chosen, beloved stream of people offer me so many small incidents of wrongness that it sometimes erodes my energy for doing things. I use Twitter to track goings-on in several professional and personal affinity groups: journalism, open web advocacy, web design, publishing, speculative fiction, feminism, and others. And beyond these, individual people I follow each care about their own wide range of things. And the internet is now sufficiently ubiquitous that in any given field of interest, on any given day, something awful will have happened online.

Ditching Twitter

Design fiction, according to Bleecker, is an essential practice — it’s prototyping for ideas. “In my mind this fits alongside the canonical tools that a designer might expect to employ,” he told me, “Design research: check. Anthropology and ethnography: check. Draw a straight line: check. You should know how to do design fiction, you should be able to take an idea and know how to look at it from the side, take a glancing blow at it to test its integrity.”

Your Mail-Order Future — reform — Medium

Basically, prototyping won’t have to end. Eventually a product might autonomously make (and even enact) certain kinds of design recommendations based on an owner’s particular usage pattern. A product can finish itself. Sensing will also make it possible for usage data to be created and passed on to more advanced versions of a product that are used by the same user in the future.

Uncommon Sense The New Role of Sensing in Design Research

Just outside the Benrath Senior Center in Düsseldorf, Germany, is a bus stop at which no bus stops. The bench and the official-looking sign were installed to serve as a “honey trap” to attract patients with dementia who sometimes wander off from the facility, trying to get home. Instead of venturing blindly into the city and triggering a police search, they see the sign and wait for a bus that will never come. After a while, someone gently invites them back inside.

How Should We Program Computers to Deceive

But this kind of thinking misses the point of the Romantic creative imagination. The Romantics weren’t obsessed with who created what, because they thought you could be creative without “creating” anything other than the liveliness in your own head. (“All men are poets in their way,” Coleridge wrote.) In fact, because we think of creativity in terms of objects instead of minds, and outcomes instead of experiences, the idea of a lone, creative genius has become as inconceivable to us as the idea of a lone, unprofitable businessman. We believe creativity is “real” only when a crowd says so; we need creativity to “pay off.”

Creativity Creep