January 15, 2023

Blog All Dog-eared Pages: Medium Design by Keller Easterling

At the end of last year I read Medium Design by Keller Easterling. It didn't quite click with me—I couldn't quite put my finger on why—but here are my dog-eared sections from reading it.

Page 11

It is less like designing objects and more like adjusting the faders and toggles of organization.

Page 13

The fourth part considers the cultural narratives and persuasions that must also be designed to propel a change through culture. It may not be enough to mix new chemistries of space in the absence of these narrative catalysts that can also alter the physical contours of power.

Page 47

Everything will be distributed, ad hoc, individualized, and heterogeneous, except their own one, true, monistic platform.

Page 53

On Ebenezer Howard's ideas in To-Morrow: a Peaceful Path to True Reform in 1898.

The corporation would purchase the land and issue bonds, and it would be paid back by rents yielding but not exceeding an agreed-upon profit for the investors. Once the bonds were repaid, the renters became co-operative owners. Capital was a temporary means to generate value from arrangements&mspace;proximities to employment and community as well as access to green space. Those values and affordances, now sitting on the land, could be managed through collective ownership.

Page 72

In medium design, to consider only digital data as information is to exclude most of the information that a city exchanges.

Like the situated values discussed in the previous chapter, spatial arrangements embody actions and latent potentials. These social, economic, environmental, and political potentials constitute heavy information. Organizations of all kinds become more robust when they do not parse information with a single language, whether that language is lexical, digital, or mathematical. And they are information-rich because of the coexistence rather than the succession of technologies. Most prized is not the newness of technologies but the relationships between them.

Page 106

Perhaps most important, anytime the construction industry is activated, whether to build or subtract, jobs are created. Instead of relying only on housing starts for construction jobs, the deconstruction of houses offers many other kinds of work tied to many industries. Deconstruction could have compounding effects, since the material harvested as well as the physical construction prompts even more jobs related to everything from reuse of buildings to carbon sequestration.

Page 129

The legal apparatus that works so hard to expel people might focus instead on recognizing strings of timed journeys to acquire experience before returning home, or more robust procedures for granting international credentials in exchange for this work. While, for some, a fixed destination is appropriate, for others, there is only certainty about the next ten years of their child's education, or the next four years of college, or a need for professional reaccreditation. For still others, there might be a chance to design a global life for fifteen years of changing locations and educational opportunities.

Posted by Adrian at January 15, 2023 12:08 PM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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