Passing by the Apple store in the mall, it looks kind of futuristic in a way between The Jetsons and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Something you can marvel at. Whenever I step inside, though, I get a sort of sinking feeling. It's a combination of business casual uniforms that announce the takeover of leisure time by commerce, the ever-present LED video screens, the sleek countertops that discourage any sales associate from tarrying.
A lot of the postindustrial landscape is like this: a machine where people aren't really necessary parts. I wouldn't really put all of this on Steve Jobs' shoulders, but I really don't think Maria Bustillos' recent essay is just a posthumous attack on the man. (Warning: By some weird irony, you may be redirected to a Chevy ad. Just hit the X and you'll be returned to The Awl.) It's more an examination of the cycles of design, how it goes from personal and democratic to impersonal and autocratic. And the Dieter Rams pieces that illustrate the former really are kind of nice.