Dominic Basulto

The Era of Conspicuous Web Consumption

We've entered a new era of conspicuous Web consumption, where people are encouraged to demonstrate their social status online by contributing to an increasingly unwieldy number of social media, social networking and location-based services. It's hard to pinpoint the exact date, but the Web has arguably become a different kind of place than it used to be just a few years ago - a place where attaining and then maintaining social status has become a giant game -- a sort of digital Keeping Up With the Kardashians. What it could mean for the future of the Web is that only those technologies that are capable of perpetuating the social status of the Internet elite will be allowed to prosper and succeed.

Continue Reading

Branded Data: Visualizing the Internet's Future

It all started with the humble infographic - those charming representations of well-designed data that are fast becoming ubiquitous across the Web. Infographics, in fact, have become so popular as a way of telling complex stories very elegantly (and generating massive page views) that they've spawned a whole new generation of increasingly sophisticated data visualization tools that are making it possible to view the data behind very complex political, financial and socio-economic trends in real-time.

Continue Reading

The Factories of Tomorrow

The conventional wisdom is that American manufacturing jobs, once lost to low-wage locales around the globe, will never again return to the U.S. What that fails to take into account is a revolution in manufacturing that is being brought about by new 3D printing technologies that make it possible to "print" items, such as jewelry or furniture or consumer goods, on demand.
 
Continue Reading

How Women Are Changing the Web

If the Web had a gender, it would be female. There, I've said it. Despite all the traditional indicators typically cited - such as the declining number of women signing up for computer science majors at our nation's universities or the relatively small number of female tech CEOs - the future of the Web is largely being determined by women, and it's not just a matter of demographics.
 
Continue Reading

Is Your Big Idea Worth Spreading?

It's no longer enough just to have a Big Idea. Now you need to have a Big Idea about how to spread that Big Idea. At this week's TED Conference in California -- the globally-anticipated event with the tagline "Ideas Worth Spreading" -- TED organizers announced the winners of the inaugural Ads Worth Spreading Challenge.
 
Continue Reading

Books without Borders: The Digital Infinite Library

It almost goes without saying that the recent demise of bookseller Borders, which is in the process of liquidating more than 200 of its superstores around the nation, was inevitable. The rise of digital book culture has made many of the traditional trappings of a physical bookstore presence obsolete.
 
Continue Reading

Where in the World Are They Teaching Design Thinking?

Over the past 12 months, the whole notion of "design thinking" has come into vogue. Not only are there entire books devoted to "design thinking" - like Tim Brown's Change By Design or Roger Martin's The Design of Business - there are also a proliferating number of educational institutions that are combining business thinking with design thinking to create next-generation "D-Schools".

Continue Reading

The Design Republic of China: What Happens When the New Export is an Aesthetic?

What will it take for the Western world to change its mind about what "Made in China" signifies? Unfortunately, for most people, those three words - "Made in China" - carry all kinds of unintended economic baggage: cheap, shoddily-made goods; the loss of tens of thousands U.S. jobs; inhuman factory conditions in urban sweatshops; and a giant export machine that is causing a massive trade deficit for the U.S.

Continue Reading

Global African Design Thinking: Reflections on Black History Month

When people think of Black History Month in America, they tend to think of famous African-Americans who managed to make a mark for themselves in American society despite conditions of severe inequality and nearly unsurmountable obstacles.

Continue Reading

The Miracle of the Commons: How Simplicity Can Save Our Cities

"Creativity begins when you cut a zero from your budget..." - Brazilian architect and urban planner Jaime Lerner

Continue Reading
Subscribe to RSS - Dominic Basulto