What is this site?
I built this site around 2005 (you can still see my desk
from way back then).
At the time I had completed my "I'm done" 480-page book in 2000 entitled MAEDA@MEDIA
and my follow-on book Creative Code
that spoke to algorithms, art, and design from my Media Lab days.
It was the year I was putting the finishing touches on The Laws of Simplicity
where I began to wonder about the meta
aspects of design and life. After seeing it published in 14 languages, I began to wonder if it was the last time I'd ever get to do something like that in my life.
In 2008 I read The Audacity of Hope,
and like many Americans, I got really hopeful and excited about what America could do for itself and for the world. Two years later I was the President of
Rhode Island School of Design, and I thought out a lot aloud about what leadership was all about on my Twitter feed @johnmaeda
. It wasn't easy
for anyone to make it through the global financial crisis of 2008, and going through that experience as the leader of a major American institution founded in 1877 helped me to learn a lot about organizations, teams, finances, individuals, systems, communications, unions, traditions, possibilities, and old-fashioned hope.
In order to make sense of what I was learning, I wrote Redesigning Leadership
as a way to
understand all that I was experiencing in my transition from a focused, lone-wolf creative individual into the amorphous, and authoritative figure of a president. Throughout all my experiences, whether at MIT or at RISD,
I've tried to understand (out loud) how the mind of an artist and designer can play a role in the world of technology and in the world of society.
As we all know now and as Lewis Mumford knew all along, technology and society are converging into one gigantic messy ball
that we're still trying to understand. For that reason, my current journey
in Silicon Valley is giving me a new space to use what I have been fortunate to receive from everyone who ever gave me a chance to grow. I am taking what I learned as a researcher and research lead at MIT, and what I learned as an operator and chief executive of
a major institution, and I am spanning the vast ecosystem covered by Silicon Valley and San Francisco as it connects to New York and Boston. It's all still a jumble in my head, but it's slowly making sense to me.
If you're curious about what I'm doing regarding design and Silicon Valley, you can sign up
for my new newsletter.
In any case, thanks for visiting this site and for clicking on
some really creaky old links. Some of them still work! Regards, -JM