Design to elucidate complexity: derivatives and the meta-economy

I just came across the excellent visual presentation at the bottom of this post by information designer Gong Szeto on Design as Derivative: Weapons of Mass Disruption.


Source: Gong Szeto

Financial derivatives are collectively one of the most complex human-created domains, which systemically can have a massive impact in the real world.

While I’d quibble with some of the points and representations that Szeto makes in his slides, overall it is great illustration of what I call “concept visualization” – using visual representations to capture, convey, and elucidate often complex concepts.

The image at the top of post shows what is certainly a highly simplified concept, yet one which neatly pulls together broader trends into possibilities, choices, and an implicit view of the promise of a connected world.

Spend a moment to flip through the presentation to see some of the concept visualizations used, or if you have more time, read the content too. Together it provides a very rich view of some of the challenges we have created, and how we can address them.