What we’re witnessing today is the emergence of a singular design creativity. Taking their cues from sources as varied as nanostructures, biological systems, topography, and cosmology, designers are introducing new areas of study and influence to their field and endowing their objects with new types of functional gradients. The goal is to facilitate as seamless a movement as possible from fast to slow, virtual to physical, cerebral to sensual, automatic to manual, dynamic to static, mass to niche, global to local, organic to inorganic, and proprietary to common, to mention just a few extreme couplings. Much of this is being done by bona fide designers, but scientists and artists have also turned to design to give method to their productive tinkering, what John Seely Brown has called “thinkering.” They all belong to a new culture in which experimentation is guided by engagement in the world and by open, constructive collaboration with colleagues and other specialists.
— from Design and the Elastic Mind by MoMA curator Paola Antonelli