• Ryan LeFevreRyan LeFevre, 8 years ago

    Hi John, thanks for stopping by DN!

    I highly respect the work you did during your time at RISD. I went to a technical/engineering college (WPI) where STEM was the core focus of the school, but I always felt that art and design was just as important (I wrote a blog post about the intersection of engineering and design last year).

    My question for you is:

    Just looking at the web, it's easy to see how much the importance of design has exploded over the last decade. Specialized tools and services for designers are popping up left and right. Websites have transformed from simple information portals to beautiful, and sometimes clever, pieces of art. Where do you think all of this is headed? What's the next logical step?

    1 point
    • John MaedaJohn Maeda, 8 years ago

      Hello Ryan, Thanks for your Q on tools. I've been thinking a little bit about this topic since I started using Sketch3 instead of Photoshop like I was more normally used to doing. Koen Bok's Framer.js is a great example of pushing the envelope of tools that blend code and images; as well as Casey Reas and Ben Fry's Processing project that keeps on getting better and better.

      Regarding the world of art and digital information, this is a tough subject -- I suggest you look at what MoMA's Paola Antonelli's been doing in the design domain -- she led the acquisition of video games a few years back, and more recently acquired hardware like Arduino into the permanent collection. That's landmark work for digital folks -- it's transformational for anyone who's believed that making things digitally is a cultural act, as well as a technical act.

      Museums are critical to the ecosystem of art -- so I would look to what MoMA and Ms Antonelli are doing; in addition take a look at what Julia Kaganskiy is leading at the New Museum on the Bowery in NY -- it's called NEWINC. I've never seen anything like it.

      Good luck!

      3 points