Full Interview: Ben Fullerton on Design for Solitude


Photo by Amy Loves Yah

I've been thinking about the importance of solitude quite a lot, lately. Recently, I came across a talk given by Ben Fullerton, who is a director of user experience at Method Design, in San Francisco. In the talk, he argues that the default for designers is assuming that connection is good, and that maybe, instead, designers should think about how their work can support solitude, at least some of the time. Ben cited some examples of new ways of thinking about design to support values such as solitude and mindfulness, including former Spark guest, Jaron Lanier's book, You Are Not a Gadget, and the upcoming Wisdom 2.0 conference. The conversation reminded me of an interview I did with William Deresiewicz, back in 2009. He argued that we may be losing our ability to be alone, in our 'always on' culture. I'd love to get your thoughts on how we might begin to think about designing for things like solitude and attention, instead of just connection.

A shorter version of this interview will air on the Jan 30th and Feb 2nd episode of Spark, but you can hear the full, uncut interview below, or download the MP3.

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