Saturday, October 17, 2009

Can Design Transform the World?

There is a new book from Penguin called Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World (left) by Warren Berger. The book investigates the “glimmer” moments in design: the moment when a new solution to an old problem is revealed. It features the insights of designer Bruce Mau (right) going beyond the how-to approach and looking at design as a force of change in today’s world.

Berger talked with over 200 leading design experts and discovered ten major principles of “design thinking”, which he outlines in the book. They include innovative ways to solve community problems and improving your creative flow.

The author says, "What designers do, first of all, is to question the way things work. Then they begin to reimagine the world we live in, and come up with new alternatives—fresh ways of doing things. This can run the gamut from a new way to peel a potato to a new way to design healthcare systems. In the book, I take readers inside the design studio of Bruce Mau, while also profiling other designers, primarily to study how they approach problems—how they seek out new possibilities and bring them to life. So I interviewed, observed, and analyzed quite a few designers, including non-professionals who are designing everyday objects that solve problems. But the one designer that I really focus on is Mau."

Berger chose to focus on Bruce Mau because he is a superstar in the design world and an inspiration to a lot of young designers. He’s controversial and outspoken, and talks about how design can save the world which some people think is overly-ambitious. In his own book "Massive Change", (right) Mau evokes a sense that, with all the problems of the world right now, this is actually a great moment in time – a time of amazing possibilities. It’s a time when we, as a society and as individuals, can really design a better future.

Click on the heading above to go to Bruce Mau's website.

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