Here's a great introductory video on the history of the internet:
How can I reconcile the design of physical spaces - the world of architecture - with the design of virtual spaces?
In so many ways, it's become really clear to me that design takes up an increasing smaller and smaller portion of the real estate and construction industry. Materials and labor costs are too high, and design is really the "front end soft cost" that is rarely at the forefront of the machine of "building" -- unless the design of the project is directly tied to financial returns, or you are building an institutional monument. Or YOU pay for it yourself.
Meanwhile, in web development and programming, the "design" of the product is really, ALL that the user is interfacing with. And it's a lot cheaper. Because there is usually no hardware involved, iterations happen a lot faster, and things are not so directly affected by scale, materiality, and costs (at least, to my primitive knowledge). There is also no permanence -- and there are inherent risks and challenges to that.
Rather than trying to make "smart" objects and "smart cities", imbuing things with data, machine learning, and sensors, can we instead try to make computer systems more human scale, more tangible, with scale and materiality? Rather than making people become more cold and machine-like (i.e. the rising trend towards isolation, depression, and anxiety in the modern world), can we make computers behave more like friendly environmental partners, much as "architecture" was the one of the first man-made technologies that protected us from the outside elements?
Things to think about on a Thursday night.