the only things that look the same. Everything else (important) is diversifying rapidly.

Brands, products, hair styles, clothing, cars, and other unimportant things have already diversified. Their industrial model prevents “niche” and specialized offerings, except for local craftsmen and boutique trades (which you should already be supporting).

Experiences will diversify. New and immersive events are coming on line all the time that offer a once in a lifetime experience. Oculus Rift and interactive gaming present digital options, which will only get more and more realistic.

Employment is already rapidly changing. Twenty years ago, the standard “cool” job may have been an executive or manager. Now it’s a freelance graphic designer.

How we work has changed. The internet is on 24-7, so if we can do our job remotely, why do we need to be in a windowless office (which are illegal to build in most developed countries) for every daylight hour? We’re discovering that we don’t.

Our relationships have changed. How we communicate with loved ones and those we don’t yet know is completely different now than it was fifteen years ago.

Energy is changing. So, what’s left?

What’s left is our cities and the way we’ve built and are building our world. At least in America, one after another, cities are chasing dreams of sustainability, high design, and “place making”. Why? To encourage people to move there, and keep their residents “happy”, or at least feeling important.

In an effort to do this, city officials hire the biggest name consultants from a prestigious place like New York or San Francisco (places with strong identities) to tell them what they should build. The city after them follows suit. And as a result, everything looks the same. Chain restaurants, big box retail, fast food joints, and subdivisions (which all look the same) dominate the perimeter. The interior is populated by parks and disjointed spaces that follow the New American design aesthetic decorated with plant material that (hopefully) works in that region. Sprinkle in an artist or two (don’t have to be local), and you have a successful project.

If everything else is [rapidly] going niche and specialized, the design of our world should too. Finding what actually makes a place unique requires extensive research (and living there, I’d argue) and work, which makes it expensive.

But not as expensive as a society of people who value their time, health, freedom, and individuality living in a world built for the mass market economy. We’re already seeing the health consequences, and the economics can’t be far behind.

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