The Language of Creativity Podcast

Design for Resilience – Stephen Bau (UX Designer) Ep. 17, Pt.1

May 7, 2021

Designers make powerful choices that ultimately affect real lived experience. What happens when those choices have unforeseen consequences?

Stephen Bau is a UX design mentor at Designlab but prefers the term “human experience” to “user experience.” Starting out at a young age with a love for art and deciding upon a path toward graphic design in Vancouver, Canada, Bau joined the industry at a tumultuous moment, when desktop publishing was beginning to consolidate entire teams of specialists into a single user with a Macintosh.

Steve and Stephen recount their experiences of living through the disruption caused by the early proliferation of the internet: desktop publishing and the home studio revolution. At this point, advertising shifted from a one-way channel to a conversation. With this new found access to people’s thoughts, advertisers pushed designers to “tap into people’s brain stems and trigger their fears.” This eventually contributed to the social media landscape we know today, and companies quickly moved to find out how to commoditize our interactions and attention. What could possibly go wrong?

They talk about The Social Dilemma, Futurist and architect R. Buckminster Fuller, and how Stephen likes to play his name off of the Bauhaus. They also touch on the challenges with social utopian ideals and the inevitability of things going wrong. 

“Every technology has a bias, and you have to be careful of how you take those on.” Because we all make choices, we are all designers of our future.


Guest: Stephen Bau

Building Leaders to Design a Resilient Society 


Stephen’s portfolio:


Stephen’s Social Media:


Further Reading/Links mentioned in the episode:

The Buckminster Fuller Institute

The Social Dilemma 

Werner Erhard on Being Human 

The Soul of Money

Pantone Color 2020

Lynn Margulis: Human Evolution 

Internal Microbiome

Infinite Potential

quantum entanglement



Tags: Buckminster Fuller Institute, User Interface Designer, UX designer, user experience designer, mentorship, Bauhaus, soft skills, people skills, graphic artist, social architecture, front end development, break the internet, the social dilemma, cognitive science, consumer culture, advertising, browser war, Mad Men, revolutionary, modern design, corporate economy, bifurcation, downtown corridor, suburbs, skyscraper, form versus function, Werner Erhard, Lynn Twist, the Soul of Money, The Hunger Project, David Bohm, disruption, urban farming, fallow fields, mycelia, internal microbiome, quantum leap, Robert Oppenheimer, Manhattan Project, synergy, Jiddu Krishnamurti, interconnectedness, quantum entanglement, infinite reality, biomimicry, holobiont, biomimetic technology environment, nested systems, death and birth

Language of Creativity’s host Steven Leavitt enjoys discussing the ins and outs of all aspects of creating, creativity, and life with his fellow creators, artists, inventors, designers, and producers. Along the way he gains perspective and multiplies his understanding of our universal potential for creating, living, and learning.





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