Each fall I teach a grad seminar that addresses critical issues around technology and design. I update the content annually. I love to share resources so feel free to borrow from my reading list for your courses (just credit me where you can). Educators need one another!
WEEK ONE: BIRTH OF INTERFACE DESIGN
Themes: Utopia, Birth of personal computer, Graphic User Interface, Object-Oriented Programming, Code, Ease versus empowerment,
- Interact with A.D.A.to find out about Ada Lovelace
- Read: Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” The Atlantic (1945).
- Check out the Memex Also here
- Read: Ivan E. Sutherland, “The Ultimate Display,” Proceedings of the IFIP Conference (1965): 506–8. (Also in Digital Design Theory by ed, Helen Armstrong)
- Watch: Sketchpad demo
- Skim: The Mother of All Demos
- Experiment with: Early Mac desktops
- Watch a few minutes of Muriel Cooper’s Information Landscapes demo from 1994
- Read: 9 Design Ideas that Shaped the Web
- Claire L. Evans, The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet
- Susan Kare’s work creating early Mac icons
- Alan Kay, “User Interface: A Personal View,” in The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design, ed. Brenda Laurel (Boston: Addison-Wesley, 1990), 191–207. (Also in Digital Design Theory by ed, Helen Armstrong)
WEEK TWO: ALGORITHMIC DESIGN
Themes: How tools affect design methodologies; Algorithmic approach to art/design; Serial Art; Emphasis on process rather than finished artifact; Generative Art and Copyright
- Read: Karl Gerstner, “Programme as Computer Graphics,” “Programme as Movement,” “Programme as Squaring the Circle,” in Designing Programmes (New York: Hastings House, 1964), 21–23. (Also in Digital Design Theory by ed, Helen Armstrong)
- Read: Wim Crouwel, “Type Design for the Computer Age,” Journal of Typographic Research 4 (1970): 51–59. (Also in Digital Design Theory by ed, Helen Armstrong)
- Read: Sol LeWitt, “Doing Wall Drawings,” Art Now 3, no. 2 (1971): n.p. (Also in Digital Design Theory by ed, Helen Armstrong)
- Read: Ben Fry and Casey Reas, “Processing . . . ,” in Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2012), 1–7. (Also in Digital Design Theory by ed, Helen Armstrong)
- Watch: Luna Maurer from Conditional Design
- Check out: Autodesk Generative Design
- Read: “Generative Art is Challenging What it Means to Be Human”
- Watch: Casey Reas: “Sketching with Code”
- Download and experiment with Processing
WEEK THREE: Holiday
WEEK FOUR: COMPUTER CULTURE
Themes: Digital Utopianism, Birth of Hacker Culture, Politics of Programming, Cyberfeminism
- Read: Introduction to Turner, Fred, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Steward Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Uptopianism, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008).
- Read: Stewart Brand, “Whole Earth Catalog Purpose and Function” in Digital Design Theory by ed, Helen Armstrong)
- Read: “The Hacker Manifesto” by The Mentor (first published in the underground hacker ezine Phrack, 1986)
- Read: Programming is Forgetting by Allison Parrish
- Read: “feminism” by Ellen Lupton and “Intersectionality” by Jennifer Tobias from Extra Bold: a feminist inclusive anti-racist nonbinary field guide for graphic designers.
- Watch: Claire Evans. (Scroll down to her videos) Check out the cyberfeminist collective Deep Lab
- Watch: Dr. Charlotte Webb, “Designing the Feminist Internet”
- Listen to Episode 7: The Whole Earth Catalog, Ecology, and the Early Internet UnCommon Knowledge (podcast) with Dr. Courtney Traub
- Excerpt from Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, London: Penguin, 2005
- Wendy Hui Kyong Chun lecturing about alternative networks online
WEEK FIVE: INCLUSIVE DESIGN
Themes: the augmented human, technology and disability, inclusive design, big data, biometrics
- Watch: “Examined Life” – Judith Butler & Sunaura Taylor
- Read: “disability theory” by Josh Halstead from Extra Bold: a feminist inclusive anti-racist nonbinary field guide for graphic designers.
- Read: Sara Hendren, All Technology is Assistive
- Listen to: 99% Invisible: On Average (Podcast)
- Read: “The White Cane as Technology” [add Kat Holmes]
- Check out: Sara Hendron
- Read: Shoshana Amielle Magnet, When Biometrics Fail, (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.
- Check out:Creatability, a collaboration by Google, NYU’s Ability Project and members of accessibility community
- Sara Hendren, What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World, (New York: Riverhead, 2020). Also here is a nice summary of her work.
- Kat Holmes, Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design, (Cambridge, MIT, 2018).
- Graham Pullin, Design Meets Disability (Cambridge, MIT, 2011).
- Eight case studies on regulating biometric technology show us a path forward, (MIT Tech Review article about AI NOW report) (more about surveillance and biometrics than disability but interesting to throw in.)
WEEK SIX: SPECULATIVE DESIGN
Themes: Design Futures, Speculative/Critical Design, Design Methods, Participatory Futures
- Watch the first 10 minutes: Speculative Everything by Tony Dunne, Resonate 2013
- Read: Stuart Candy and Kelly Karnet, “An Introduction to Ethnographic Experiential Futures” in Design and Futures, (Taipei: Tamkang U Press, 2019).
- Watch: Heather Dewey–Hagborg (scroll down to the interview videos of her) and check out her work.
- Check out: Superflux and read her interview with Stuart Candy
- Post: Blog response
- In-class: Exercise
- “‘All that You Touch, You Change’: Expanding the Canon of Speculative Design Towards Black Futuring,” by Christina N. Harrington and Yolanda A. Rankin, April 2022
- Really interesting Technology Futures report published by The World Economic Forum and Deloitte.
- Amy Webb, Emerging Tech Trend 2021
- Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2013). Very Influential book.
- Other readings from Design and Futures, edited by Stuart Candy and Cher Potter, ((Taipei: Tamkang U Press, 2019). Published as open access. Check out in particular: interviews with Anab Jain (Superflux), David Delgado (NASA JPL) and Dan Hill (Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova).
- Interview with Stuart Candy on Design Non-fiction
- The chapter from Universal Methods of Design on horizon scanning (and the ones on backcasting and design fiction)
WEEK SEVEN: DATA ETHICS
Themes: Ethics, Algorithmic Bias, Data, Classification, Exclusion
- Read: Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen “Excavating AI”. See also Anatomy of an AI System
- Check out: Gender Shades Project, research led by Joy Buolamwini & Timnit Gebru
- Watch: Mimi Onuoha, How We Became Machine Readable
- Check out: Mimi Onuoha’s work
- Read: Jer Thorp, “By Canoe and Caravan” from Living in Data
- Watch: Rumman Chowdhury, Moral Outsourcing
- Read: Helen Armstrong, Chapter Three from Big Data: Big Design: Why Designers Should Care About Artificial Intelligence, 2022.
- Check out: Sarah Gold’s studio IF, and Comuzi Design
- Post: Blog response
- In-Class: Exercise
- In-class: Introduce presentation proposals and literature map
- Silas Munro, W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America
- Flash Forward: Can you Sue an Algorithm? (podcast)
- Google PAIR led by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg
- AI Now Institute
- Cathy O’Neil, exerpt Weapons of Math Destruction, (Broadway: 2017)
- Any lectures by Sarah Gold of IF
- Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein, Data Feminism, (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2020). (Great book on data and exclusion)
- MoMA R&D Salon 24 AI-Artificial Imperfection
- Black in AI
- Data for Black Lives, Founded by Yeshimabeit Milner
- Caroline Sinders: “We Need a New Approach to Designing for AI, and Human Rights Should Be at the Center”
- Watch: Rumman Chowdhury, “Building Ethical and Responsible Technology into Government,” Code for America Conference, June, 2019.
- Noble, Safiya Umoja. Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism. NYU Press, 2018
- Escobar, Arturo. Designs for the pluriverse: Radical interdependence, autonomy, and the making of worlds. Duke University Press, 2018.
WEEK EIGHT: Fall Break
WEEK NINE: HUMAN/MACHINE RELATIONSHIPS
Themes: robots, animals, companions, conversation, social connection, brain controlled interface, human-computer integration
- Read: Betti Marenko & Philip van Allen (2016) Animistic design: how to reimagine digital interaction between the human and the nonhuman, Digital Creativity, 27:1, 52-70, or Animistic Design (shorter)
- Read: Excerpt from Kate Darling, The New Breed: What Our History with Animals Reveals about our Future with Robots, Chapt 6 (longer read, but really interesting)
- Read: Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation (longer read)
- Read: Helen Armstrong, Chapter Two from Big Data: Big Design: Why Designers Should Care About Artificial Intelligence, 2022.
- Listen to this podcast: Seeing Double: AI Births Digital Humans
- Check out: “Amazon Has A New Voice: Your Dead Relative’s”
- Check out: MIT’s Fluid Interfaces Group led by Pattie Maes.
- Check out: Neuralink. Also Facebook pulls funding for BCI (brain controlled interface)
- Skim: Florian Mueller, “Next Steps for Human-Computer Integration,” CHI 2020.
- In Machine’s We Trust podcast, “What’s Behind a Smile?” and “AI Reads Human Emotions. Should it?”
- Excerpt from Kate Darling, The New Breed: What Our History with Animals Reveals about our Future with Robots, Chapt 5
- Talk, Rana el Kaliouby Humanizing Artificial Intelligence
- Eli Pariser. “Beware Online ‘Filter Bubbles.’” TED. Video File. March 2011.
- Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, (New York: Random House, 2019). (important book to read)
- Joël van Bodegraven, “How Anticipatory Design Will Challenge Our Relationship with Technology,” in The AAAI 2017 Spring Symposium on Designing the User Experience of Machine Learning Systems Technical Report SS-17-04 , (Stanford: AAI, 2017), 436.
WEEK TEN: AI CREATIVITY
Themes: automation, creativity, escaping the screen, alternative forms of intelligence
- Read: Machine Learning: Are Designers Even Needed Anymore?
- Watch: Matt Jones interview
- Watch: “The Danger of AI is Weirder Than You Think,” by Janelle Shane
- Check out: Janelle Shane and Helena Sarin
- Check out:Dalle-mini/Craiyoni and Imagen
- Watch: Silka Miesnieks, “Designing for Humanity Begins, Now,” Augmented World Expo, June 2018.
- Check out: Artbreeder and RunwayML
- Ai Weirdness: Interview with a Squirrel
- Jon Yablonski, AI in Design
- Google Teachable Machine
- Google AutoDraw, Looka Logo Maker, scriptbook, Lyrebird, Fotogenerator
- Andreas Refsgaard
- Blaise Agüera y Arcas, How Computers are Learning to Be Creative , TED, 2016.
- I highly recommend Janelle Shane’s book: You Look Like a Thing and I Love You.
- Robert Peart, “Automation Threatens to Make Graphic Designers Obsolete,” Eye on Design, October 25, 2016 (Note, written in 2016)
- AI Writing Code
- Arthur I. Miller, The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity, MIT Press, 2019.
WEEK ELEVEN: INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS
WEEK TWELVE: PRIVACY/SURVEILLANCE
Themes: privacy, surveillance, Surveillance Capitalism
- Read: “You Are Now Remotely Controlled” by Zuboff, New York Times.
- Watch: Apple ad, Data Auction
- Watch: Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters
- Listen: Rose Eveleth, “Dollars for Data,” Flash Forward (podcast)
- Watch: Sarah Gold, “Trust and Digital Rights in Learned Systems,” PAIR UX Symposium 2018 (great discussion of what part design plays in the surveillance debate).
- Read: What is the Dark /Dark Web?
- Your Phone Tracks you More than You Think (interactive cell phone tracking map)
- Check out: Privacy Assistants: Kagi from Artefact
- Check out: Find Face App
- Privacy in 2034: A Corporation Owns Your DNA (plus it has a great illustration)
- “‘An Invisible Cage’: How China Is Policing the Future,” New York Times (you can access the Times for free as a NCSU student)
- Podcast:In Machines We Trust, “Who Watches AI Watching Students?”
- The New Ways Your Boss is Spying on You (If can’t access Wall Street Journal use this: proquestdocuments-2020-07-29
- Check out your activity on myactivity.google
- AIGA Interview: David Carroll
- The Great Hack documentary on Netflix, 2019, (trailer here)
- New York Times Privacy Project (look for articles that interest you)
- A. Das, M. Degeling, D. Smullen, and N. Sadeh, Personalized Privacy Assistants for the Internet of Things, 2018 IEEE Pervasive Computing: Special Issue – Securing the IoT, April 2018
- Karen Hao, “The two-year fight to stop Amazon from selling face recognition to the police” MIT Tech Review, June 12, 2020,
- Joanne McNeil, Lurking: How a Person Became a User
- Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
- Rebecca Heilweil, “From Macy’s to Albertsons, facial recognition is already everywhere”
- “Watching the watchers: bias and vulnerability in remote proctoring software” a new study that talks about the ways in which the surveillance tech used on students can be easily bypassed and used for other means.
WEEK THIRTEEN: BEYOND HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN
Themes: human-centered design, anthropocentrism, post-human, more-than-human design, bio-centered design
- Watch: Don Norman, Principles of Human-centered Design
- Read: What does Post-Human Design Actually Mean?, Eye on Design
- Watch: Anab Jain of Superflux: More Than Human-Centered Design
- Read: Carl DiSalvo and Jonathan Lukens, “Nonathropocentrism and the Nonhuman in Design.” From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen, (Cambridge: MIT, 2018). (a longer read)
- Watch: Anastasiia Raina: From Human-Centered To Bio-CenteredDesign
- Read: Are We Human excerpt by Beatriz Columina and Mark Wigley
- More Than Human conference
- Geert Lovink and Douglas Rushkoff, Sad by Design Podcast (Intense discussion 1 hr)
- Other big names in posthumanism: Anne Galloway, Donna Harroway, Sarah Whatmore, Dorian Sagan, Alex Taylor,
- “What is AI” article
- Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees
- Peter Godfrey-Smith, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and The Deep Origins of Consciousness
WEEK FOURTEEN: NOV 21 | THE SINGULARITY
Themes: AI, machine learning, singularity, creativity, hybrid thinking
- Watch: Kai-Fu Lee: How AI can Save our Humanity
- Read: Murray Shanahan, “Heaven or Hell,” The Technological Singularity (Cambridge: MIT, 2015). (a longer read)
- Watch: Nick Bostrom: What Happens When Our Computers Get Smarter Than We Are? Scroll down on the main page to get to his talk. The page will automatically begin playing Juan Enriquez.
- Explore: The Future of Humanity Institute
- Podcast The World As You’ll Know It, Sept 21, 2021: The Likelihood and Risks of SuperIntelligent Machines
- Podcast: Flash Forward, Rude Bot Rises
- Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell
- What Would it Be like to Be A Conscious AI?