Dive In

Considering all the rhetoric that has been produced about information technologies and their impact on global culture, it's easy to feel exhausted, or at the very least tired, by the prospect of more internet discourse. If you're not suffering from this critical fatigue, Deep Sites (Thames & Hudson, 2003), a new book by design critic Max Bruinsma, should be added to your reading list. Deep Sites energetically discusses a plethora of web sites within a framework of five categories of innovation: interface, typography, animation, community and authoring. Each category includes a range of types -- from web art to corporate sites to blogs -- arguing that they are all taking us somewhere new and potentially liberating. Bruinsma seems to think that design can help us swim, rather than flail, as we move into the techno-future. For those wanting a preview, the author's personal web site provides texts in English and Dutch as well as links to the sites featured in the book. - Ryan Griffis