Book Review & a Freebie

I recently read the book Glimmer by Warren Berger. This is an awesome book that had me examining why and how I design.  It's like the first semester of design school in one book.  It breaks design down to four areas- universal, business, social, & personal and discusses methods and cases studies in each. The chapter headings themselves are mini lessons in design thinking:

1. Ask stupid questions
2. Jump fences
3. Make hope visible
4. Go deep
5. Work the metaphor
6. Design what you do
7. Face consequences
8. Embrace constraints
9. Design for emergence
10. Begin anywhere

Among other case studies and designer spotlights, Glimmer chronicles some of the work of designer Bruce Mau. I loved the view into his world. Several of the chapter headings above come from Mau's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. Which are his strategies for creative thinking and how his studio looks at projects.

The book also quoted Buckminster Fuller quite a bit. A legendary design thinker and innovator, Buckminster was a head of his time. I had the opportunity to see an exhibit of some of his sketches and models while in Chicago a few years ago. I was mesmerized and spent hours being inspired by his alternate view of the world and it's possibilities.

One favorite quote from the book by Fuller states, "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty, but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." Love that!

When it comes to design thinking, I have begun to ask myself if I have considered these ideas. Am I channeling my own "Inner Buck" and thinking beyond what is readily apparent? Am I asking the stupid questions, going deep, looking at all the consequences? Not just a book for designers, Glimmer shows the methods and importance of thinking like a designer no matter what industry you are in.

I made a little mini-print to share with all of you (personal use only). Next time you are in the middle of a project, think about Buckminster Fuller, Bruce Mau, and design thinking and see if you can Rock Your Buck!  This is a 5x7 pdf that you can print onto cardstock then trim. Just right click (pc) or option click (mac) on the previous link to download and save the print to your own desktop.

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