The Culture of Master-Craftsmanship


ADMCi guides businesses to achieve remarkable results in product, service, and experience design through an ethos of master-craftsmanship. We are doing so by establishing a non-profit foundation that supports research through Commissions and education through our School for Digital Craftsmanship.

A New Ethos

Today's Master-Craftsmen

We're building more than web pages, mobile apps, and the like. We're designing the world we live in. As the maker movement, gesture interfaces and the like continue to blur the line between physical and digital experiences, our design skills are expanded and challenged. We need a language to capture the upper-most purpose of world-making, system design, customer experience, and one-on-one human connection.

We've drafted a set of principles that lay the foundation for an ethos in craftsmanship where stone, wood, and metal are no longer the defining elements. Nor are screens, projections, or overlays in digital. In an age where time-bending, world-flattening, and hyper-connectivity change the equation in relationships constantly, we need guiding principles to help us hold ourselves accountable.

Our students and teachers revise and reinforce these tenets as a result of their work in each class. Our master-craft commissions illuminate an artisan-in-residence program to further test, explore and confirm our findings.

Speaking on Design and Ethos

Jim Jacoby recently presented on the Future of Design at the Built In Chicago D-Conference. Many of the ideas related to our ethos are shared here. Pull up a seat (in the back row) and settle in for a trip to the future.

Also highlighted in Forbes.

We hold these truths to be self-evident...

1. that Business value is built on serving people first.

The final frontier for differentiation and market advantage will be driven by how well you serve people. Whether you make a digital product, aggregate data or manufacture a component, fundamental success will be judged by how well your business serves the people you touch.

2. that Efficient and responsible systems persist.

The best systems are highly efficient and self-regulated. In an environment where we can help you create or disrupt entire markets overnight, the strongest predictor of success will be built-in responsibility to market participants.

3. that The best innovations make us more human.

An innovation of the highest order makes us better people, makes it more likely we will do good, makes us connect in more meaningful ways... These are the innovations that will endure in a business environment differentiated by empathy.

4. that Transparency in balance creates clarity.

Revealing something about your customer or competitor requires a fair exchange. We instinctively seek fairness in these trade-offs. When designed well, relationships grow and brand position gets stronger.

5. that The most effective technologies go unseen.

Brilliant design results in an intuitive experience. You don't think about the object or the interaction. Whatever we build must meet this standard, even as we break down old metaphors that seem most comfortable or proven.

6. that Learning is the only path to meaningful change.

We all seek to learn about the world around us. The experiences you offer the world should improve understanding in some way. When done right, knowledge is gained without effort and advanced as a result of the interaction.

7. that Character precedes culture.

Culture is an outcome. Personal responsibility is an obligation. When addressed consciously, even if off-the-mark from time to time, our broader experience will improve at cultural and societal levels.