• Fashion is among the least inclusive segments of design, having a strong preference for certain kinds of bodies and offering limited options for anyone falling outside that narrow spectrum. This New York Times piece looks at how designers are working to expand the possibilities by creating sleek, minimal apparel for wheelchair users, people with chronic medical conditions and other needs that have been ignored in the past. 


Making Technology Work for Us: 

  • Physicist, metallurgist, educator and writer Ursula M. Franklin passed away. A thoughtful critic, her writings and lectures became a touchstone for many designers, engineers and educators looking for a more nuanced take on technology's place in society. If you're unfamiliar with her work, the lecture series "The Real World of Technology" is a good place to start. She was a rare individual, carving out a middle path of doing and saying: making practical, ethical contributions to many fields while also developing theoretical frameworks to guide thinking and offer alternatives. In a heavily compromised world where we are pressured to see ourselves on one side or the other, it's a good reminder that we can reject that false bargain and chart a different course. 


Feeding the Future:


(Dis)trusting Technology:



  • The last of the VCR manufacturers is bringing production to a halt. They've been making the devices for 30 years and built 750,000 units last year. Similar to the swansongs of other technologies, the decline of the format has created a small but passionate community of collectors, known to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for especially rare tapes. Whether it's anxiety about an uncertain future, a sense that analog technology possesses a certain humane warmth, or feeling our own mortality reflected back to us, some are unwilling to let the outmoded but familiar slide into the darkness of history completely. 


More next week.