Week 169: roles

| Hans Gerwitz

At this point, calling these “week” notes has become a farce. I continue to use the title ironically.

The Artificial is now into our third year! We will celebrate with a summer party shortly, which also feels ironic considering the current weather in Amsterdam.

We are beginning to find a few promising candidates, but the pool remains more shallow than I’d like. As we exhaust our networks and consider posting an open position, we run into the problem of how to name a job.

An important part of The Artificial’s approach is that we approach design holistically. It is common in our industry to tease apart the user’s experience into aesthetic vs. functional components while addressing a client’s technical and business requirements separately, with client communication segmented off as well. This reductionism allows for neat processes that are easy to reproduce and scale to large teams. The resulting work, however, is often compromised, mechanistic, and rarely inspired.

It’s also too easy, if you apply such Taylorism to an agency, to acquiesce to a client’s own bureaucracy. This undermines the benefit to them of working with outside consultancies!

So even though our skills and passions obviously vary, we resist labelling ourselves as “visual designer” or “interaction designer” or “creative technologist”. It is thus hard to describe the opportunity to join us in a way that’s legible to search engines.