Thoughts, links, and essays from Peter Merholz
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Most of the Time
Oakland, CA

American history around the time of the Revolution, figuring out how to marry top-down task-based information architecture processes with bottom-up document-based ones, finding a good dentist in San Francisco Oakland
Designing the user experience (interaction design, information architecture, user research, etc.), cognitive science, ice cream, films and film theory, girls, commuter bicycling, coffee, travel, theoretical physics for laypeople, single malt scotch, fresh salmon nigiri, hanging out, comics formalism, applied complexity theory, Krispy Kreme donuts.

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[Editor's note: began as a site of self-published essays, a la Stating The Obvious. This evolved (or devolved) towards link lists and shorter thoughtpieces. These essays are getting a tad old, but have some good ideas.]
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Does digitalia feature a new aesthetic? Posted on 10/26/2001.

As an unabashed formalist, I found "Flow: The New Form?" to be an intriguing point/counterpoint on whether new media has developed a truly new aesthetic, or is merely updated modernism. It's becoming clear that I'm going to have to simply breakdown and by Prof. Manovich's The Language of New Media. In the article, Manovich's notions are exciting and thoughtful, whereas Betsky's seem reactive and stuffy. Manovich states a view I've expressed on this page, which I feel to be a clarion call for designers:

"Perhaps what is important about our society now is not forms but processes cell phones are new cultural forms; so are flows of information."

For the field of Design to remain relevant, it must become less obsessed with artifacts, and more concerned with interactions and processes.

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