Showing posts from May, 2006


In the June issue of Wired Magazine there is (as usual) an interesting article about "crowdsourcing". The idea is, as one might think, a variation of outcourcing but is not focused on software development. The article mentions a number of companies and organizations that post their problems or tasks on the web, someone out there takes on the challenge or task, and if succesful gets a reward or payment. The model is used with tasks ranging from real research and scientific problems to tedious manual tasks. (Strangely enough there is nothing on Wikipedia on crowdsourcing yet)

The model is based on the same idea that we are now seeing happening in all fields touched by the web, to tap into the creativity and energy of the "crowd". This is the basic force behind Web 2.0, and all its successful manifestations. It leads to a huge, almost underground, ongoing creative activity that is soon to compete with many organized activities. We can already see this in music, media,…

The Big System, Design Complexity & Responsibility

Maybe one of the most interesting challenges we are facing today is the growing complexity in our artifacts and systems. When we move into the era of blended digital and physical materials, when digital systems becomes closely intertwined with biological and organizational systems, complexity increases.

It is not only the complexity of the systems themselves that increases, maybe more vital is the challenge this poses for designers. When every new design is supposed to be part of an already existing complex system, it will be almost impossible to understand the consequences and implications that even the smallest and most insignificant design will have on the whole. Emergent qualities of the Big System level will, at the same time, become more subtle and extreme.

In a way the Big System will become more like the biological environment, fractal like, and maybe only possible to understand on an abstract level, such as that of chaos theory, or as abstract dynamic structures and processes.