John Maeda’s digital world

photograph by Jake Chessum in Fast Company

Breaking with tradition, the Rhode Island School of Design recently hired John Maeda – world renowned Artist, Graphic Designer and Computer Scientist to bring it into the 21st Century. His mandate is to change how creativity is viewed in our century. John Maeda is known for his ideas of humanizing technology. No underachiever, Maeda has a  bachelor’s and master’s degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT, a Ph.D. in Design Science and an MBA. He believes that we should constantly learn to avoid obsolescence. 

He sees creativity and inspiration in everything from a roll of tape to butterfly wings. He has published four books. The most well-known, The Laws of Simplicity,  suggests there are ten laws for simplifying complex systems not only in business and life-but especially in product design. His first law is reduce: “The simplest way to achieve simplicity is through thoughtful reduction.” Most products have too many buttons. Organize is the second: “Organization makes a system of many appear fewer.” Most of us can relate to this one – if our homes or work spaces are well organized life just seems a little easier.

Some of the ‘titles’ he has been given by some of the most influential people in the business and design world? ‘Visionary’, ‘Digital Renaissance Man’ – I think these are understatements.  In 2008 Maeda was named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire magazine and one of the 2008 Masters of Design from Fast Company.  There are far too many links to add here…here’s one last one . Watch and be inspired…

One Comment
  1. October 23rd, 2008 - 5:59 am
    john.cantrell said:

    John Maeda is awesome. I saw him lecture in 2003 at the Aspen Design Conference and I’ve followed him ever since. He has a great TED lecture too on Simplicity and Complexity. If you have a chance read ‘The Laws of Simplicity’ its a really really short read but very good!! Thanks Janet for sharing!!!

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