• Airbnb's design studio Samara (which was formed, at least in part, by their acquisition of Lapka) has announced a fairly vague, techno-optimist sounding project called Backyard. From Airbnb's own PR team: "Backyard is an initiative to prototype new ways that homes can be built and shared, guided by an ambition to realize more humanistic, future-oriented, and waste-conscious design." Those pronouncements seem willfully naive of the company's own impact on neighborhoods, which some reports suggest contributes to displacing residents by driving up rent prices. We do need to prototype better futures on the local level, but if Airbnb wants to achieve the kind of sustainable, human-centered solutions they mention in their announcement, they will be better off collaborating with those already living and working in communities engaged in grassroots efforts, rather than letting designers dream up new concepts totally detached from the world as it stands. 

  • Microsoft is showcasing a new design system for Windows, but with an eye toward a near-future where augmented reality technologies are common, and require a different kind of UI vernacular. 

Feeding the Future:  

Roadmapping the Future:  




More next week.