The past few years have exposed many inequities and turmoil. We saw how people behaved at their worst and how they preserved at their best. The pandemic was a jolt to the system that has exposed a gaping and unrelenting schism between those who are comfortable and those who are and continue to be struggling. During this time, I and most everyone I know had the luxury of holing up in our homes. We ordered food to be delivered and sat on endless zoom meetings, but we did not bear the cost of this pandemic.

I wrote about the inequities…


Intention is making sure that the thing you are doing or making will have the results that you hope will happen. Which means you have to really think about what you want to happen.

Let’s talk about football and the police.

A story inspired by the Massive Change exhibition by Bruce Mau circa 2002 but is as relevant today as it was then.

Unlike their American counterparts, in European football, or soccer is not just for kids — it’s a beloved sport and part of the European identity. Fans crowd the streets during wins and losses to make their passionate…


People should not be an afterthought in a vaccine rollout

Imagine you are 62, you live in a semi-rural area. You have a car, but it is 15 years old and unreliable and doesn’t have working air conditioning or heat. Your rent is $600.00 but, you are unemployed and only get $700.00 a month to live. You barely can afford your electric bill, so having a smartphone or internet access in your home is out of the question. It is 2021, and there is a vaccine available that can save you from a deadly virus during a global pandemic — but you have no idea where to get one or…


Constructed Realities: QAnon and Transmedia Alternate Realities

On Jan 6, 2021, supporters of then-President Donald Trump swarmed the US Capitol building in Washington, DC. The crowd wore t-shirts, flags, and hats with the words “#WWG1WGA” and “I am Q’’, “The Storm has Arrived The Great Awakening #taketheoath” emblazoned on them. The mob, summoned by social media posts, fumed with righteous anger. Their anger stemmed from a variety of beliefs: that members of Congress were part of a secret cabal of pedophiles who harvested the blood of children; that John F. …


I love old houses. They are the places where the past and the present converge, where strangers somehow become linked through time with an invisible connection. I am into historic restoration and preservation. A year ago, my husband and I bought a 150-year-old house that still has much of its original charm. And each project we take on, we uncover a mystery, a story, a curiosity from the past. The renovation of my Victorian bungalow home has turned into an unplanned archeological dig.

Today, while I was doing some work on our backyard, I saw the remnants of what used…


Powerful words by the great Professor Cornell West

“In the higher levels of the professional managerial sites be it Silicon Valley, be it Wall Street, be it Harvard, too many of those sites still look like the National Hockey League. So all of the talk about diversity in the world, if it doesn’t translate on the ground, then, in the end, we still not only have more work to do, we gotta quit being dishonest. And we have to be more vigilant.”

“When they are there, you don’t disrespect them, you don’t devalue them, they have grand contributions to make…


Designing for emergencies

My day job is being a designer and professor but today I am here to tell you a horror story.

It was an ordinary, quiet, day this summer in a small town in the beautiful town near the border between California and Nevada filled with small quaint shops, hotels, and cafes, and in proximity to world-class skiing. This is a place where a bear wandering into a neighborhood and disturbing trash cans or a minor auto collision is headline news.

I had recently relocated to this idyllic location from the Bay Area. My husband and I had just moved in…


The people left out of the future

The face of the workplace is changing because of technology, so are demographics. What will happen to the people left out of the future?

My brother used to work at a warehouse as a forklift operator that collected boxes and readied them for shipping. The pay was good, and the work was social and intellectually challenging. Every few years his job changed a little as the machines he used got upgraded, things became more efficient.

But, eventually, his job changed from him controlling what the machines did to his workflow being controlled by an algorithm on a tablet computer that told him exactly where to go and what to do.

One day, he came into work and he and his coworkers were gathered together…


A face mask typically worn during the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

If one were to time travel to downtown San Francisco in January 1919, they would see a sight that has now become familiar; people on the streets wearing bits of gauze cloth masks across their face. This was because the world was still in the midst of the H1N1 Avian flu that first appeared the year before and infected one third of the human population worldwide. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018) And, in 1919 as today in 2021, unfortunately, you might also see several people who refused to wear a mask.

Mask mandates, created to combat influenza, started…

Aynne Valencia

Designer, Professor, Force for Good

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