Artful Design Chapter 7 Response

by Daniel Donghun Kim

Principle 7.3: Technology should strive to get out of the way of human interaction

One of the biggest changes the pandemic brought about is people's level of comfort of doing things over Zoom. When I heard that my work will partially be over Zoom, my immediate reaction was 'what the hell is that?' Now, I believe it has become one of the indispensable parts of human interaction.

While being able to Zoom my parents and friends back in Korea is such a great feature that I am so grateful for, I think it definitely took away certain elements of human interaction. For example, it became perfectly possible to work remotely and never meet your colleagues in person. I personally enjoy meeting the people I work with. In a sense, there was a tradeoff between human interaction and comfort that happened during the pandemic, and I think everyone should try to find the right balance for themselves.

Principle 7.5: Simple is satisfying.

This is a principle that I struggle a lot with! I always have too many ideas that I want to express with a single work, and oftemtimes it just becomes a jumble of different things that I am not satisfied with. Even now, I am losing sleep because I am so excited about what I want to do for my final project. I am wondering if meditation will help trim down my ideas and get me focused in creating something that is simple and effective.

Principle 7.11 A & B: That which can be automated should be, that which cannot be meaningfully automated should not be.

I initially found this principle very perplexing. Isn't this an easy statement that doesn't say much? But then I realised the difficulty and the beauty of this statement comes from the act of defining what are the things that could be meaningfully automated.

The first thing that came to my mind when I heard of this principle is drip coffee. Dripping my own coffee is one of my favourite activities and it is definitely a weekend ritual that I cannot let go of no matter how busy I am. However, I recently gave up on hand-grinding my own beans, which is something that I kept for a very long time. On the other hand, I would never give up on the experience of pouring over my own coffee, because seeing the muffin-like structure come up at the top of the beans with the scent is one of the best feelings. It is one of those things that are ends in themselves, not a means to drinking my coffee. This image association was able to really teach me what this principle was trying to say.