My TEDx Talk: The New Literacy of Design

May 14 2013 – 11:11am

I wrote Design for Hackers to teach hackers about design. But that wasn’t the hokey pokey of it.

That wasn’t what it was “all about.”

I wrote it for hackers because hackers have the most power to do great things with the things that they make.

But that’s changing.

Hackers have made makers

All of that collective work, all of the long hours of coding, sharing and contributing to open-source work – and of coding and making for profit – are distributing that power to people who don’t even know what a <br> tag is. (They should learn, but that’s another story)

Hackers have brought the power to make things to the mainstream. All sorts of people are making things, and more people have the ability to get their ideas seen by the masses.

Along the way, they’re learning about design. You can talk about the differences between Times New Roman and Helvetica at a party and people will know what you’re talking about.

Do you realize how huge that is?

Do you realize that wouldn’t have worked 20 years ago? Not even 10.

Regular people are learning about design

We already know that communicating with the visual language of shapes and lines and white space can be the difference between someone dismissing what we make, or embracing it.

Regular people are already learning about design without even being aware of it. They may as well be intentional about it and harness its power.

This is the subject of the talk I gave at TEDx DePaul University in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. If you watch the video, you may think I’m just speaking to the “exit” sign, but I swear, there were lots of people there.

I’m very excited and proud to have had the opportunity to share this idea through TEDx!

(If you enjoy this talk, please let the TED people know simply by clicking on this link)

This post is filed under Design.