High-level thought leadership about what design and tech is and can be

Essays & books

Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design [Book]
By Michael Beirut

Design Justice—”An exploration of how design might be led by marginalized communities, dismantle structural inequality, and advance collective liberation and ecological survival.” 2021 PROSE Award Winner, Engineering & Technology Category [Book]
By Sasha Costanza-Chock • MIT Press

Designerly Ways of Knowing [Book] and this article on Futuress featuring excerpts
By Danah Abdulla, recommended by @round via Yang You

Digital Ground: Architecture, Pervasive Computing, and Environmental Knowing [Book] – "a theory of place for interaction design" that combines theory of architecture with interaction design
By Malcolm McCullough • MIT Press

Designing for humans & others

The Design of Everyday Things [Book]
By Don Norman (of “Norman Door” fame), former VP of Advanced Technology at Apple + professor of computer science, cognitive science, psychology, among other things

The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception [Book]
By James J. Gibson

Optical Effects in User Interfaces: An Illustrated Guide (the importance of making things look like they’re sized, aligned, desgined, etc. consistently rather than actually being geometrically consistent)
By Slava Shestopalov  •  Muzli

User Friendly: How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play [Book]
By Cliff Kuang + Robert Fabricant

Things We Could Design – For More Than Human-Centered Worlds [Book]
By Ron Wakkary  •  MIT Press

Wakkary argues that “…human-centered design is not the answer to our problems but is itself part of the problem…and that posthumanist design enables a world in which humans share center stage with nonhumans, with whom we are entangled.” The book’s forward is really great too, in how it defines what design even means.

Caps Lock: How Capitalism Took Hold of Graphic Design and How to Escape It and The Politics of Design
By Ruben Pater (who has a fantastic website of work too)

The Responsible Object: A History of Design Ideology for the Future and Design in Conservative Times
By Marjanne Van Helvert

Cory Doctorow is an incredible thinker on tech: