A few favorite articles under my own byline, mostly on topics of design, urban infrastructure, and the tech/startup scene in the Pacific Northwest.

QUARTZ  Tech companies fetishize simple design—and it’s making us dumb

In the rush to simplify our every interaction with technology, it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we’re interacting in the first place. The trick is to figure out how easy something should be, and support different levels of simplicity within the same category. Sept 20, 2016

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WIRED  Uber Learned the Hard Way: Transparency Rules the Sharing Economy

Uber’s recent struggles with surge pricing are a sign that it’s coming to terms with something Airbnb, Etsy and other peer-to-peer stalwarts already know: in the Sharing Economy, active transparency is no longer optional. May 9, 2014


Re:Form  The Traffic Signal Knows You’re There

An experimental traffic sensor for bikes is changing how we behave at intersections. Also available as audioOct 28, 2014

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Metropolis  Inside PIE, Portland’s Latest Tech Experiment

Profile of the Portland Incubator Experiment, a small but profoundly influential tech incubator that shares space and expertise with advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy. Oct 3, 2014


Gizmodo  Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things

An NPR journalist’s fumbled tweet exposes a hole in the debate about urban cycling. July 7, 2014

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Works That Work  Portable Boundaries

A brief history of the “French barricade,” a piece of urban infrastructure that’s quietly shifted the balance of power between cities and their citizens. Mar 25, 2014

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Medium  Repacking Portlandia

A ground level overview of how the coming rush of high-density development is going to change Portland’s urban environment, and an examination of the pressures that brought them about. Originally written as part of Design Week Portland 2014Sept 25, 2014


Medium  It’s Time to Talk About Service Design

A brief article for Ziba’s digital magazine, introducing Service Design as a discipline, and making the argument that the great design-driven breakthroughs of the next decade will come from brands that take service seriously. June 9, 2014


FastCompany Design  What Bluegrass Musicians Can Teach Business About Collaboration

Watching a good bluegrass jam is kind of astounding, not only because of the endless variation and creativity, but also because, in many cases, the players don’t even know each other. It’s only possible through a widely shared set of standardized tunes and progressions that serve as a kind of “buy-in” to the scene. With this as a template, I propose some rules for companies trying to improve their creative collaborations: create your own standards, champion them throughout the organization, then encourage improvisation within them.  Sept 27, 2012


Core77  Stepmothers of Invention: Branding Firms Enter the Industrial Design Fray

An early feature article for Core77, about attempts by ad agencies to design products, in an effort to become multi-disciplinary branding firms. Includes input from some great interview subjects: former CP+B director John Winsor, Cinco Design principal Kirk James, and consumer culture journalist Rob WalkerOct 3, 2008