In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex Worldby John Thackara
We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered/i>
We're filling up the world with technology and devices, but we've lost sight of an important question: What is this stuff for? What value does it add to our lives? So asks author John Thackara in his new book, In the Bubble: Designing for a Complex World. These are tough questions for the pushers of technology to answer. Our economic system is centered on technology, so it would be no small matter if "tech" ceased to be an end-in-itself in our daily lives.
Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what purpose will be served by the broadband communications, smart materials, wearable computing, and connected appliances that we're unleashing upon the world. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how?
In the Bubble is about a world based less on stuff and more on people. Thackara describes a transformation that is taking place now not in a remote science fiction future; it's not about, as he puts it,"the schlock of the new" but about radical innovation already emerging in daily life. We are regaining respect for what people can do that technology can't.
In the Bubble describes services designed to help people carry out daily activities in new ways. Many of these services involve technology ranging from body implants to wide-bodied jets. But objects and systems play a supporting role in a people-centered world. The design focus is on services, not things. And new principles above all, lightness inform the way these services are designed and used. At the heart of In the Bubble is a belief,informed by a wealth of real-world examples, that ethics and responsibility can inform design decisions without impeding social and technical innovation.
- MIT Press
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are saying about this
Designers often miss a great deal in their educations about the real people who will use and inhabit their work. Thackara astutely illuminates a lot of what designers don't know they're missing.
When you are wondering what to design, you will want to pick it up and browse through it again, to remind you of all the new possibilities for design. When you worry if your design is good enough, you will want to check through the passages that you have marked, to be sure that you have provided for all the complexities that count. When you have an 'Aha!' and are confident that your design is great, you will want to check that you have matched the attributes of 'Flow.' When you have an idle moment, you will want to read through the notes, which are a good book about design in themselves.
Meet the Author
John Thackara, described as a "design guru, critic and business provocateur" by Fast Company, is the Director of Doors of Perception, a design futures network based in Amsterdam and Bangalore. He is the author of Design after Modernism, Lost in Space: A Traveler's Tale, Winners! How Successful Companies Innovate by Design, and other books. Since 2002, he has authored the Doors of Perception blog and newsletter (http://www.doorsofperception.com/).
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