What Technology Wants

Designed in California

June 23, 2011: 12:22 PM ET

Inspired by Apple, Kevin Kelly riffs on the "California Style"

Source: The Technium

"We rightly understand," writes Kevin Kelly in his brilliant The Technium blog, "that how we arrange atoms is more important than what atoms we use. Same with information. The arrangement is more important than the ingredients. That's why we crave design."

The author of an enviable library of influential tech books (most recently, What Technology Wants) Kelly takes his inspiration from the marketing tag Apple (AAPL) prints on the back of every iPhone -- "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China" -- and ponders whether there is such a thing as an indigenous California design style.

Experts may argue contrary, but I don't think there is a California Style of design yet. But there is a California perspective, or what some in Europe call the California Ideology. The California perspective includes the culture of the screen (Hollywood, games, porno), and hi-tech pharma and health technologies. It is technological, optimistic (protopian, not utopian), slightly libertarian, but also slightly left, very organic and green, and extremely cosmopolitan in an ethnic sense. In this way, many things are Designed in California.

"It would be interesting," Kelly concludes, "to see what other cultural inventions should be labeled with the tagline, Designed in California. Suggestions?"

Via Brian S Hall.

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