October 10, 2010 is Powers of Ten day — 10/10/10, a milestone on the design thinking calendar.
Increasingly, designers are shifting scale from rethinking artifacts (whether buildings, posters or toasters) toward whole systems thinking. I would call this a scale shift from, let’s say, 10^1 to 10^5. Prompted originally by environmental thinking and more recently by the rise of networks and globalization, we are starting to recognize that it is impossible to design things in isolation from the larger systems that they live within — whether those are systems of resource extraction, manufacture, distribution, consumption, or waste.
This became more apparent to me as I created installations in perceptually immersive 3D space (Second Life). I was thinking about space and time in my planning for and construction of Alternate Futures this past summer. I also wrote a well-received entry, The Paradoxical Art of Inception, which was posted on the PBS Art:21 blog and included Powers of Ten.
Newly updated Powers of Ten web site.
How to Apply Eames’s Legendary “Powers of 10” to Real-life Problems from Fast Company’s design blog.