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Episode 34 of the ndion podcast with John Maeda

John Maeda on the Intersection of Design and AI

In this episode, we have the privilege of sitting down with John Maeda; a visionary thinker, designer, and educator. Forbes named him one of the most influential people of the 21st century, and Wired magazine wrote that Maeda is to design what Warren Buffett is to finance.

Join us as we delve into the intersection of design and artificial intelligence, exploring the evolving landscape of technology, its impact on design, and the path to a more hopeful future. John Maeda shares insights and anecdotes about his experiences as a designer, his time as a professor at MIT, and talks about UFOs eating avocados.

Three key takeaways are:

  1. The role of design: Design goes beyond creating visually appealing objects. It involves the psychological treatment of a commoditized product that generates demand and imprints deeper meaning into the standardized product. Design plays a pivotal role in product differentiation.
  2. Software as a medium: Maeda explains that software is not just a tool; it’s a medium. Understanding and working with software is different from working with physical materials such as wood in traditional design.
  3. The need to understand artificial intelligence: In a world where AI plays an increasingly significant role, designers should view AI not just as a tool but also as a subject to understand. This understanding empowers designers to work creatively and effectively with AI, leading to innovative solutions. It is important to understand how AI works, evolves, and adapts.

👤 Guest:
John Maeda, VP of Artificial Intelligence and Design at Microsoft – LinkedIn, MAEDASTUDIO

🗣 Moderator:
Stephan Ott, Director Institute for Design Research and Appliance, German Design Council – LinkedIn

In the ndion podcast, the German Design Council invites interesting people from various industries and talks to them about topics from the field of tension between design, brand and innovation. They ask about the current challenges in transformation, about megatrends and micro-tools, about lessons learned and the most important dos and don’ts.

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