Design as Derivative: Weapons of Mass Disruption with Gong Szeto

Thursday, May 7, 2009 - 17:30
Jackman Hall, AGO 317 Dundas St. W.
Community members: 

What implications does the current global economic crisis have for design? For Gong Szeto the answers lie in understanding how design has evolved over the last hundred years in parallel with capitalism. Billionaire Warren Buffett has called financial derivatives “weapons of mass destruction.” Gong Szeto will demonstrate the powerful properties and dynamics of derivatives in the financial world, and apply this framework to understanding design’s origins and future possibilities. He will argue that design, due to its complex derivative nature, can be combined with the powerful emerging attributes of massively shared social web platforms, and proactively insinuated into a (post) capitalist political economy, taking shape as “weapons of mass possibility.”

About the Speaker: 
Gong Szeto is principal of Fury, Inc., a strategic design consultancy whose charter is to engage in the complex interrelated problem spaces of politics, economy, technology and science. Formerly Chief Creative Officer of Rare Medium, and principal at NY-based i/o 360 digital design, Gong has lectured world-wide, and is a recipient of numerous awards from The Art Director’s Club, American Center of Design, Net Tech, CASIE, and I.D. Magazine. He has work in the permanent collections of SFMoMA and Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum. Gong holds a BArch, and has studied business, finance, economics, and IP law at NYU and Harvard. Gong lives in Santa Fe, NM, blogging at