An organization of designers collectively advocating for the ethical practice of design and for the bargaining power of employees, freelancers, and educators against the commoditization of design by corporate and capitalist value extraction that is actively undermining the flourishing of humans for the sake of monopolizing social communication through advertising and marketing and the accumulation of profits for the benefit of a select few at the top of the corporate hierarchies.

The Race to the Bottom

In 2013, I opted out of the race to the bottom in order to concentrate on building a community for the arts.

Now that we have actually hit rock bottom as an industry, I am glad that I did not participate in the building of the hellscape of surveillance capitalism and the attention economy as we collectively abdicated our social, economic, and political responsibilities as citizens by handing our identity, energy, and agency over to corporate monopolies, who are actively destroying democracy by engaging in the outsourcing of the machinery of authoritarian capitalism.

Communities of Ethical Responsibility

The solution, according to Mike Monteiro, is to grow a spine and to organize.

For the past couple of decades, the tech companies of Silicon Valley (and beyond) have run unchecked, causing havoc, destroying civil discourse, democracy, ruining personal relationships, running marketplaces of harassment and abuse, all to line their pockets. The very worst part is that they did it with our labor. This isn’t a talk, this is a union meeting.

The Human Project

Why should we lead with design?

The physical is a metaphor for the metaphysical.

In design culture, I sense a community reaching for a different vision of who we are as human beings. We are reaching beyond the constraints of the physical world to recognize the human experience that we are actively in the act of creating through the design process. Beyond the physical artifacts that we create to shape who we are there is the metaphysical experience of being human.

In the design culture, who are the scribes and prophets of our generation, I see people who are waking up to their own deconstruction process, understanding that the empire that we have built is poised to replace humans with corporations and machines.

If we create corporations as legal entities that assume the rights and privileges of human beings, when they achieve a market capitalization greater than the monetary worth of all of human life, we have made humans expendable. The corporations are actively pursuing this goal.

C.S. Lewis was right about the Screwtape letters. We thought devils were red fawn-like creatures with horns and tails. In actuality, they are inhuman inventions in the form of legal contracts, laws, corporate hierarchies, and national bureaucracies and the inhuman tools we built.