Find of the Day: 24 July 2016

In trying to figure out what the future of design will look like, we’re at a bit of a loss.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace. In five years, mobile platforms have gone from being an emerging part of a company’s strategy to the focal point of its future. So who’s to say when virtual reality and automation become more prominent? Quickly-evolving tools like these and a shifting playing field make it almost impossible to predict the future, because the gadget that will drive our lives in 10 years probably hasn’t even been invented yet. And then there is the matter of divergent career paths. The age-old standard of working your way up the ladder at a single company for the duration of your life has been disrupted by career professionals blending skills that were once thought to be mutually exclusive — like design and computer programming – to make entirely new hybrid careers in anticipation of the market needs of tomorrow.

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Eadweard Muybridge revealed a new universe of motion with his camera, but history has largely obscured his extraordinary accomplishments with photography.

In its earliest years, photography rode an unsure line between science and art. It transported facts of the world to the public. It offered pretty images. Few people knew what to do with it. But Muybridge and Stieglitz changed that.

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When it comes to healthcare and wellness, the population of people needing support is quite diverse. Not everyone has adequate health insurance, access to specialists, disposable income for a gym membership, education about proper nutrition, a reliable personal support system or convenient internet access to receive messages from providers.

Digital health solutions are well poised to fill this gap. For example, a plethora of telemedicine apps and websites offer patients access to providers who live outside their area or with whom getting an in-person appointment would take weeks. There are innumerable fitness apps and YouTube channels that help people exercise for free at home, and there are equally infinite websites and apps that offer free diet and nutrition education.

Yet, too often these digital health products and services seem designed for those in the same socio-economic situation as the designers themselves.

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For more than 65 years, computer scientists have studied whether robots’ behavior could become indistinguishable from human intelligence. But while we’ve focused on machines, have we ignored changes to our own capabilities? In a book due to be published next year, Being Human in the 21st Century, a law professor and a philosopher argue that we’ve overlooked the equally important, inverse question: Are humans becoming more like robots?

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American manufacturing is seeing a growing resurgence. While some retail companies like American Apparel have long produced products on U.S. soil, a new breed of companies are seeking to take advantage of American ingenuity and manufacturing prowess to produce high quality products locally. From Detroit based watchmaker Shinola, to San Francisco headquartered accessory company Edward Field, more and more American companies are foregoing outsourced foreign operations to assemble, build or produce their products in the United States.

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