The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.

– Warren Bennis


Artwork by Daniel Liang

Dense Discovery
Dense Discovery

Welcome to Issue 37!

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It’s been three days since we had a federal election here in Australia (my first as a new citizen) and I can’t help but feel disheartened. What many called the ‘climate election’ turned out to be yet another vote for a government that’s unashamedly funded by the coal lobby. (Here’s our now prime minister holding a lump of coal in parliament telling us not to be scared of it.)

By some estimates we have a bit over ten years left to turn the ship around. In Australia, that means we have three federal elections left to enforce radical climate policies and we just wasted one of them. Perhaps democracy is incompatible with the complexity of climate change action. It’s difficult to feel optimistic about a system that’s plagued by short-termism and distorted by special interest money.

Just like after Trump and Brexit, there is now lots of talk about connecting and empathising with people outside our green bubbles; to put ourselves in the shoes of those who don’t have the luxury of caring about climate change as their highest priority. While I don’t disagree, it still feels idiotic to see one side argue about jobs and immigration and the other about the survival of most species on this planet, including our own.

To retain a sense of empowerment and hope, my sub-editor Kieran suggests to ‘think global, act local.’ And I agree. All I can do is to continue to re-evaluate my own choices, my role in the community I live in, and frequently question my position of privilege from which I judge people that make seemingly irrational decisions. – Kai

PS: It’s worth linking again to this great post by Bret Victor from 2015: What can a technologist do about climate change?

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Gmail for Mac


Boxy Suite →

Best Gmail and Google Calendar apps for Mac

Boxy Suite gives you the best Gmail and Google Calendar clients for Mac. Enjoy a refined, pixel-perfect desktop experience with dark mode, native notifications, system integration & much more.

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Apps & Sites

Blot →

Tiny, file-based blogging platform

“Blot is a blogging platform with no interface. Blot turns a folder into a blog. Drag-and-drop files inside to publish them.” I love the look and simplicity of this. The standard template looks gorgeous too (check out the Magazine view!). Let’s bring personal blogs back big time!

Amadine →

Illustration software for Mac

I’m surprised I’ve never heard of Amadine before: a “new drawing software for Mac with the neat and convenient UI that guarantees swift and easy workflow.” Adding it to my growing list of alternatives to the Adobe suite...

Notability →

Versatile note-taking on iOS

Notability combines handwriting, photos and typing in a single notes app offering you “a wide range of note-taking and sketching tools to capture every detail. You can even add and annotate PDFs in Notability.”

Klokki →

Automated time tracking

A Mac app that lets you set up automated triggers to help you track your time more precisely across different apps.


Idle Knowledge


Icon by Flatart

404 legend not found

The 404 ‘page not found’ error message has become a strange obsession of internet culture, turning into memes and punch lines. The myth surrounding the number 404 attracted its fair share of lore: ‘In the early 2000s, the idea bubbled up that the 404 came from, well, room 404; that this room housed the web’s first servers, at CERN; that World Wide Web inventor Tim ­Berners-Lee had his office there; that he frequently could not be found.’ Sadly, none of this is true. 404 is part of the 400 range of errors, a rather arbitrary assignation made by the whim of the programmer at the time. (Source)


Goods & Accessories


PowerCore Fusion →

Wall & portable charger in one

This compact charger by Anker comes with two USB-A and one USB-C outlets, plus a built-in battery pack that holds an extra charge for your phone when there is no power outlet around.


Ruined by Design →

How designers destroyed the world

Get ready from some light reading by Mike Monteiro: “The world is working exactly as designed. And it’s not working very well. Which means we need to do a better job of designing it. Design is a craft with an amazing amount of power. The power to choose. The power to influence. As designers, we need to see ourselves as gatekeepers of what we are bringing into the world, and what we choose not to bring into the world. Design is a craft with responsibility. The responsibility to help create a better world for all.”


Overheard on Twitter

As I’ve said in previous keynotes, there is no tech talent shortage – just tech companies stubbornly clinging to biased hiring practices that rule out qualified candidates.



Food For Thought

AirPods Are a Tragedy →


I wish I had come across this eye-opening, well-written critique of Apple’s AirPods before I bought my first pair a few months ago: “For roughly 18 months, AirPods play music, or podcasts, or make phone calls. Then the lithium-ion batteries will stop holding much of a charge, and the AirPods will slowly become unusable. They can’t be repaired because they’re glued together. (...) Even if you only own AirPods for a few years, the earth owns them forever. When you die, your bones will decompose in less than a century, but the plastic shell of AirPods won’t decompose for at least a millennium.”

The Modern Trap of Turning Hobbies Into Hustles →


Struggling with this myself: “It’s okay to love a hobby the same way you’d love a pet; for its ability to enrich your life without any expectation that it will help you pay the rent. (...) What if we allowed ourselves to devote our time and attention to something just because it makes us happy? Or, better yet, because it enables us to truly recharge instead of carving our time into smaller and smaller pieces for someone else’s benefit?”

How to shop, cook and eat in a warming world. →


The New York Times with a beautifully illustrated guide and set of FAQs to help you adjust to a more climate-friendly diet, covering everything from meat to dairy and even food waste.


Aesthetically Pleasing

❏ ❏

Artist Cj Hendry uses colour pencils (!) to precisely render the imprecise nature of Rorschach paint blots.

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Triptych consists of three distinct styles amplifying the notion of structural differentiation within a typeface family.

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Spy developed a beautiful brand for upmarket catering company H+J.

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Race for Utopia: using design fiction, Swiss graphic designer Signe illustrates how the old and once reputable economies in each US state are merged with their current specialty industries to gain new momentum.



Design Tomorrow is a podcast about the making of the future. Each episode is a rich sonic experience that will entertain, inspire, and challenge you to create a better tomorrow.

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