Doctor's Note - Issue 8 - Design in the age of synthetic realities

Design in the age of synthetic realities

It's been a while since my last newsletter, mainly because I travelled to UX Australia to run a Storytelling & Pitching workshop and present my new talk, Design in the Age of Synthetic Realities, based on the Synthetic Realities Fjord Trend I wrote. In the past 18 months or so, I've been delving deep into the world of AI-generated media and am convinced we're about to see a creative explosion now that tools like Runway ML are getting into designers' hands. We are at the equivalent stage of Photoshop 1.0 or early 3D rendering as they emerged from computer science labs and quickly became part of our media culture.

I wanted to pull all this material together in one place, as well as make a different argument to the common "the death of truth as we know it" headlines. The shocking thing about synthetic realities is not how easily we might be fooled, but simply how quickly we'll get used to them, as we already have. So I wrote an essay called Design in the Age of Synthetic Realities, available to you lovely Doctor's Note subscribers via this Medium friends link.

I am still a believer in the long read and of unpacking an argument and tracing its historical roots. This will take some time to digest, especially if you watch all the embedded videos. But seeing it all together in one place gives you the moment of realisation that so much is about to change.

Please share far and wide and I would really love to hear some feedback from you.

Since that essay is so long, I think that's probably enough reading. So here are some quick updates:

Switching to Hugo is moving to a different platform, Hugo and Netlify. I still use a RSS feed reader for a lot of my reading, so I always assume everyone else does. They probably don't. However, if you do and you notice the feed doesn't update (the next update will be the Synthetic Realities essay also posted on my blog), then try pointing your reader at this URL:

Power of Ten

The most recent episode of my Power of Ten podcast is an interview with the fascinating Ariel Waldman talking about her work stimulating cross-disciplinary collaboration at NASA. She's got a pretty amazing gig.

There are a whole host of interesting guests coming up now that the summer break is over, so please subscribe in all the usual places you get podcasts. If you like it, please leave us a rating or review on iTunes — you know as well as I do that it helps nudge those algorithms and other people to find the show.

That’s it for this issue. As always, I’m very happy to hear feedback and responses (positive and negative). The best place for that is Twitter. The second-best place is LinkedIn. Or you can mail me on

I’d love to grow the readership, so if you like Doctor’s Note, please forward it to people or post your feedback and the sign-up link. It really helps.