Archives: Joseph Alessio

Giving Back

· May 20th

The level of available information we have reached is unprecedented. Anyone with a connection today can reach more resources in seconds than any researcher at any other point in history could pull together in hours from the largest libraries. This is almost scary—and indeed, has potential for serious drawbacks. People increasingly rely on Wikipedia…

Stepping Back

· February 28th

Last week, I visited Spillville, Iowa. It’s a tiny town, a predominantly Czech farming community, with a population of fewer than 400. There’s very little to see there; even the public park is closed during the winter because so few people visit that it isn’t worth spending the time to plow the parking lot and walkways. The reason I visited was because one of my favorite composers…

Lessons For Today From William Morris

· January 22nd

If the modernists had their way, everything would be manufactured. Factories would be clean, safe, well lit, with happy employees working an assembly line. Products would be inexpensive – another step toward an egalitarian lifestyle. If only factories could be improved, the modernists said, everything could be so much better…


Inspiration And The Creative Code

· December 24th

Inspiration: it can mean so many things. In terms of design, it’s a particularly dangerous word. It is used liberally but few people like to define it because it’s loaded. What exactly is inspiration, and where does it become synonymous with “Plagiarism Lite?” If there’s a project where you’re not sure where to draw the line between inspiration and plagiarism…

What Design Means

· November 1st

Last week, I spent quite a few hours on set as an extra for an indie film. As being an extra involves far more waiting on the sidelines than acting, I met a lot of interesting people, and — when cameras weren’t rolling ­— had some great conversations. There were people from all walks of life: special-ed teachers, contractors, film industry professionals…