A black-and-white portrait of KenKen ZinserMake sense and make better

Notes, essays, etc.


Apollo's swan song

Woodworking and furniture design, revisited (1.6 MB)

The Colbert Questionert

Tags on the left

Weeds accumulate cruft

Decision-making with SBAR

How I capture thoughts and ideas in the moment

Photos from India (2.7 MB)

Your first reader

Shopping carts

Monoculture of UX

Photos from Little Island (770 KB)

Photos from the American Museum of Natural History (1.9 MB)


The Love-At Symbol



Kiefer Lettuce Showbox

Neon (10 MB)


On home

Grand scale foot-shooting

Family photos

Meta vision

Plain project management

Permission to make mistakes

Navigating change

Custom domains for iCloud Mail

Leaving a good impression

Attention management

Dial-up days

Conflict vs. confusion

Be curious, not judgmental

The paradox of focus

Scales and pendulums

Art department rules

Nero days

Be meticulous

TMI re T1D

Write it down

How to shape conversations

Behind the pixels


Memento Maybe

Important problems


Leaders stop for pedestrians

Blog food

Slow down and write better emails

Consulting as craft

Avoid the clown suit

Where’s the crease?

System thinking for designers

The Rise and fall of Getting Things Done

Useful and overlooked skills

No such thing as a fresh start

The problem with 'pretty'


Voltron of Luck

Quit trying to attract a crowd and just help people

Give yourself permission to be creative

While you’re at it, make it sing

Electric cars and perpetual motion machines

Want to leave a legacy? Be a mentor

Email charter

The benevolent dictator of the internet

Bring out your blogs

Selflessness is overrated


On making hard decisions

Sticking to it

First, be kind.

Make your own Bible

How to be a better friend

Ambiverts, problem-finders, and the surprising psychology of making your ideas happen

How could the TDC be a racist organization?

Get to work

68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice

Don’t confuse legibility with communication

On criticism versus trolling, fragmentation of design, and joining Pentagram

Missing the bus

Dieter Rams

Guide to internal communication


7 leadership lessons over 2.5 years

The three qualities leaders need in an uncertain future

The human skills we need in an unpredictable world

How Thom Yorke learned to stop worrying and (mostly) love rock stardom.

Being a leader means giving up control

Why cynicism matters when you’re making change

Be an elegant simplifier

A not-quite-textbook definition of systems design

Vignelli Center for Design Studies (1.7 MB)

Running in circles

IDEO and a story of design

Soderbergh on creativity

Ten measures of leadership

The XY Problem

Construction vs. destruction


How to get the most out of a conference

Writing sensible email messages

The color of money


Nothing sensible

Keep the tough rules

Direct function of beauty


Advice is not difficult

Born done

Mike Birbiglia’s 6 tips for making it small in Hollywood. Or anywhere.

If you dropped your notebook in a lake

What are questions?

A 200-year transformation: How the Mall became what it is today

The writing class I'd like to teach


Upton Sinclair

It makes no sense that word processors are still designed for the printed page

Long and short

World's biggest indie ad agency Wieden+Kennedy have mastered office culture, too, NBD

CreativeMornings Seattle with Electric Coffin

Street Smart

The opposite view of landmarks

The absurd primacy of the automobile in American life

9 basic principles of responsive web design

A visual history of which countries have dominated the Summer Olympics

Rethinking how business schools teach design

Why it pays to be grumpy and bad-tempered

By means of one

Silver Spring has the 'sorriest bus stop in America'

Jiro Ono and René Redzepi have a cup of tea

A brilliant chef

23 buildings that resemble the things they sell

The big sort: an insider's tour of a recycling plant

So loud

A guide to the fine art of refrigerator aging

The rectangularness of countries


Introducing Office Fonts from H&Co

No grades, no timetable: Berlin school turns teaching upside down

New logo and identity system for Mastercard by Pentagram

How to win friends and influence people—online

Definition of a designer

People first, designers second

Border control

With an updated Nutrition Facts label, the FDA settles an eternal question: Why Helvetica?

Google charmed by grandma's polite searches

Christo's newest project: walking on water

A ship in a harbor

I'm a fucking webmaster

U.S.G.S. topographical maps

To vote is to exist

Judging a diving competition

How NYC gets its drinking water

Typeface Mechanics: 001

An aerial view of Europe's carbon footprint

Big questions before little ones

Why I like the new Met logo (and why you should give it a chance)

Overthinking and redesigning a fragmented date format


New Design Council website

Auteur theory


My friend needs a website

First-rate intelligence

TLC for your URLs


Collaborative design




Franklin Gothic by Morris Fuller Benton




On Virginia Woolf’s The Death of the Moth