We are not building websites or apps. We are building systems. This sentiment may usually refer to the design systems and technological systems that form our digital infrastructure. Our work tends to be in the realm of brick-laying as the building blocks for larger structures. Designers tend to be tasked with building user interactions, the doors, the rooms, the fixtures, the facade, the elevators. The architecture is the business model that defines the building structure.

Perhaps we need an [Alexis de Tocqueville](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville) to tour the systems that we have created and provide a thorough analysis of the ways power, wealth, property, rights, privileges, and penalties are administered. Perhaps we may conclude that little significant thought has been invested in the unintended consequences that might result from boldly forging ahead into the unknown to build systems that do not take into account the worst characteristics of human behaviour.

I would suggest there is a definite need to understand the social behaviours that technology enables, to enlarge our view of what it is that we are designing and building, to envision the field of social architecture that can properly assess and devise ways of preserving freedom, equality, and human flourishing within technological systems.

The social architecture that we are building with technology is such a nascent enterprise that we have yet to formalize the means of educating and developing a [professional discipline](https://medium.com/@jeff_dickey/this-is-a-big-part-of-why-i-refuse-aside-from-my-current-marketing-driven-job-title-to-call-d084315fd35a) that encourages behaviours that are in the best interests of human society and global ecology.

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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