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Design Tomorrow

Christopher Butler

Design Tomorrow is a podcast about design, technology, and being human with a special emphasis on growing our awareness that what we do and think today can create a better tomorrow.
The Future vs. The Future

32:40 | Aug 5th

Every vision of the future is a better index of the present from which it came than whatever time it imagines. So today, let's look back at some of the things we believed would serve as landmarks of the future. Not to point out how quaint they are or...Show More
Words Matter

17:05 | Jul 22nd

Too often we think of the word "design" as a shorthand for an ecosystem of mostly visual phenomena. But words play an enormous, though often unseen, role in the creation of everything. Today, I want to tell you a story about how my life was changed b...Show More
A.I. Ain't that I.

19:05 | Jun 17th

The majority of our clicking and tapping is a repetitive act of information management. Isn't A.I. supposed to help us with this? Don't hold your breath... Today, on Design Tomorrow, in the tradition of the rantiest of rants, I'd like to, well, rant ...Show More
The Glove, the Display, and the Possible Future

22:36 | Jun 3rd

Is technology a means to an end — the ladder we climb to a future we want to inhabit because it's better for us than the present — or is it as far as we let our minds and hearts go? In this episode of Design Tomorrow, we'll connect a few stories abou...Show More
Ugh. Advertising.

37:36 | May 20th

Does advertising still make sense in our world today? How does a form of media always known as an associated form — as something that sips from the attention river flowing to and from other things — function when the complexity of those waterways has...Show More
The Interface and Me

34:13 | May 6th

Are interfaces good? Or are they a distraction — for us the makers, and for the users we believe we are helping? How can we think better about both how we interface with digital experiences, personally, and how others do it? Today, we'll think deeply...Show More
Useful Fictions

23:08 | Apr 22nd

We live in a time of illusions. Simulations that reflect back upon us more than just the passage of time, but something important about who we are. Something unique is going on right now — with the tools and technology we have — that is giving us the...Show More
The Last Thing We Need Are Smartphones

22:22 | Apr 8th

When so many problems of existence remain unsolved, we haven't earned the luxury of smartphones. So this is an intervention. A challenge to the status quo of waste and distraction and triviality and short-term pile-on that is our way of life here in ...Show More
Behind Every Robot

34:24 | Mar 25th

What is it about robots that compels us to create them? And what does it say about a culture that makes machine surrogates despite not having reached a consensus about why to make them in the first place? In this episode, we'll explore the robots tak...Show More
The Real Value of Ideas

19:54 | Mar 11th

What are our ideas worth? Are they as valuable as we think they are? And what might change about how we act on our ideas once we start thinking differently about how we value them and how unique they really are? In this episode, we'll explore how sim...Show More
How to Make Good Things

16:26 | Feb 26th

They say that practice makes perfect. I'll settle for "practice makes good," thank you very much! In this episode of Design Tomorrow, we'll explore what it means to practice - what there is in repetition that can help us to get better. Not just at wh...Show More
Computer World

23:33 | Feb 11th

There are very few people left on Earth for whom the world isn't shaped by computers or seen through their screens. But does it have to be this way? In this episode, we'll explore how screens — and the images they reveal — are just as much a manifest...Show More
This Creation of Our Genius

26:02 | Jan 28th

As long as we've been self-aware, we've desired companionship. And yet, we are not enough for one another; we hunger for something more - something that folklore, imaginary friends, and now technology have attempted to satisfy. Today, we stand at a c...Show More
How to Get Your Time Back

25:14 | Jan 14th

The more time passes, the faster it feels it's moving. It's an illusion, of course, but does that really matter? If you feel like it's moving faster, it might as well be. The shrinkiness of time is part of the human condition. But the secret you may ...Show More
Ticking Progress Bombs

15:43 | Jan 1st

Progress is something we all try to work toward, but how do we really know if we're making any? And if progress isn’t permanent, is it progress at all? In this episode, we'll explore progress and the ways that certain forms of it actually trap us in ...Show More
The Voice Interface

21:23 | Nov 20th, 2018

We're all using voice interfaces now — a thing of science fiction now very much in our reality. But it turns out that feelings — things like fear, loneliness, trust, and desire — play just as much of a role in the way these machines work than do data...Show More
The Power of Perspective

16:59 | Nov 1st, 2018

In a world as crowded with technological tools for measuring our progress as ours is, sometimes the best way to see how far we've come is, literally, in our own hands and on our own faces. In this episode, we'll discuss a simple exercise you can do t...Show More
What is real?

22:00 | Oct 16th, 2018

It may sound like a rhetorical question, but asking "what is real?" is becoming more and more a practical inquiry into the nature of our everyday experience. In this episode of Design Tomorrow, we'll imagine a future — not too far off — where the lin...Show More
Design is Art with Rules

15:42 | Oct 2nd, 2018

There is no good definition of design. In this episode, Chris talks about what distinguishes design from art, and how accountability plays a unique role in making the distinction clear.Links4'33", by John CageThe scene sampled at the end of the episo...Show More
How to Think About the Future

20:32 | Sep 18th, 2018

We all think about the future. Probably more than we're even aware. But, is thinking about the future useful? Does thinking about the future actually help us make one that's better? In this episode of Design Tomorrow, we'll talk about the future. Not...Show More
Active Erasure

16:14 | Sep 4th, 2018

In this episode, Chris tells a story about a drawing professor who taught him about not just identifying the negative space in our thoughts and actions, but something he called active erasure, and how being intentional about the act of taking things ...Show More
Getting Out of Our Own Way

17:50 | Aug 23rd, 2018

In this episode, Chris talks about what it means for designers to get out of their own way, and he shares a couple of ways he's made that not only more possible in his life, but more natural to his day to day.Things Mentioned in the ShowClients from ...Show More
The Magic of Ordinary Objects

19:52 | Aug 23rd, 2018

In this episode, Chris talks about appreciating the design of everyday objects, minimalism, and how some objects can reflect a life well lived.LinksI mentioned a bunch of objects I own that I especially value. Only some can be found online, so this i...Show More