4 min read

The Dice — 007

Designers should accept the inevitable, what design can’t do, cheap Japanese candy, the best comics, and Silo is real, and responsible innovation.

Today’s issue of the Dice is brought to you by hats. Hey, are you wearing the Airbag “A-game” dad cap yet? It’s the best fashion accessory for everyone, said no one ever—yet. Also, check out the sporty Asshat model. Both are available in classic navy and cranberry.

Fourteen thousand people attended Config in person this week. Insane! I’m grateful that I got to attend last year but honestly, it’s just way too many people. And, as Peter Merholz pointed out on LinkedIn, it was a gathering of people all around a single platform. Meaning, there is room for new and, likely, smaller events. That’s what I will be thinking about in the week ahead.

Rolling now.

Ø8-12 magazine needs to be seen and held by more people. The ad-free “archive” is a “collection obscura of curated niche topics providing in-depth research of the random and the cool. It is the creation of a one-person operation, designer, Kara Zwaanstra. The debut issue is on cheap Japanese candy called “dagashi.” All of the candy packaging was scanned on a good ole flatbed “picking up those subtle details that we would otherwise overlook—important bits of information that we can gather about objects.” Everything about Ø8-12, the papers, colors, design, and the content is perfect. The next issue will cover “heavy metal and rock music culture in Finland.”

After watching the Figma keynote this week, Jon Lax posted some interesting thoughts on what he sees as the inevitable for the future of design and AI. “Value is always in motion and hand wringing over it is wasted energy. Arguing whether technology can replicate "taste" or "creativity" isn't important. Over time it will be able to do both.” Pair this thought with one he made in another post, “Too many designers try to design for the world as it was or the world as they wish it were vs the world as it is.” I’m not sure how I feel about this just yet, I need to write a post about it, but I enjoy Jon’s perspectives here.

For those of you burnt out on this conversation perhaps it’s time to jump ship and consider getting into fifteen boring businesses that make good money.

“Design is broken. Young and not-so-young designers are becoming increasingly aware of this. Many feel impotent: they were told they had the tools to make the world a better place, but instead, the world takes its toll on them.” So begins the introduction to Silvio Lorusso’s book, What Design Can’t Do. “This book probes the disillusionment that permeates design.” Wow! After reading more of the book's introduction I could not buy this book fast enough.

After spending a year with scores of young designers disillusioned by requests from executives I wrote A comprehensive, well considered list of things designers simply can’t do.

You know about Silo, yes? The award-winning science fiction book (now television show) about people who live in a huge, underground, bunker—it’s real! It exists! Survival Condos, located somewhere in Kansas, are former Cold War missile silos renovated for contemporary living underground. Each complex includes public amenities like a movie theater, swimming pool, gym, and school. And silos are linked to one another for video communication. I don’t know about you, but if we get nuked, I think I’d rather go out in a white flash than “stay alive” sealed underground.

Polygon published their list of the best comics of 2024 so far. It’s a solid list with titles I had not considered before mostly because I had not seen them—Discovery remains a fundamental problem with buying comics digitally. My favorites this year include Blood Squad Seven (if you were a fan of Image during its formative years this book is for you), Napalm Lullaby, Moon Man, and the conclusion of The Weather Man. And pretty much anything from Jonathan Hickman because that dude makes great stories.

“I finally understand why Rambaldi may have hidden so many inventions,” writes Indie Web founder Tantek Çelik. His post, “Responsible Inventing” is the perfect flow chart for creating things that “poses non trivial existential risk” or “is likely to cause more harm than good.” Tantek’s post also includes a handful of resources for responsible innovation. A great read for everyone, especially those who are interested in ethics and invention.

Stay frosty, and for those of you in the States, enjoy the upcoming long weekend.

Published in Tacoma, Washington listening to Lost in Space from the upcoming album Paradise State of Mind by Foster the People