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DesignNext: John Cain on the Design of Technology

July 9, 2020


In the first of our DesignNext video series, John Cain discusses the design of technology.

“In this moment, we find ourselves deeply enmeshed in technology. So much of everyday life has some kind of technological component. Things like connected thermostats, the digital devices that we carry with us, social media platforms – these are socio-technological with them clear and obvious benefits. But also surfacing are the ways these socio-technological systems also are deeply flawed.

Just as we humans are responsible for the creation of these technologies – beginning with the component level, to the product and service level, to the systems level — these components, products, services, and systems, also shape us.“

A design strategist and serial entrepreneur, John has taught at ID for over 20 years, developing coursework that aims for more wise, fair just and equitable outcomes in technology. In the video, he highlights key ideas for the design field:

  • The difference between design traditions and new practices
  • Digital workshops for new digital materiality
  • Defining a digital product
  • How digital products shape experiences

About DesignNext

While design has no tradition of continuing education, the rapid development of new practices now requires ongoing practitioner development. With its 82-year history of pioneering human-centered design, ID is uniquely positioned to deliver this needed training.

As a platform to share emerging practices with alumni and practitioners, DesignNext will offer brief talks from practitioners on the forefront of changing fields. Upcoming topics will include behavioral design, design and data, anti-racism design, generative design, civic design, and design futures.

Join us as we explore these and other themes through introductory videos. And stay tuned for opportunities to take in-depth courses.

Watch the video

And subscribe to ID’s YouTube channel for more DesignNext videos!