In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World by John ThackaraHow to design a world in which we rely less on stuff, and more on people.
Were filling up the world with technology and devices, but weve 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 were 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; its 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 cant. 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.
What do you do, exactly? Help people look at the world - and act in it - in different ways than would be possible in their normal working situations. The result is to kick-start innovation processes, because we expose people to questions, people and situations they have not encountered before. So you are not a design guru, you're a symposiarch? The word is from Greek democracy. After a day's formal deliberations, senators would continue informally over a dinner orchestrated by the symposiarch architect of symposiums.
Doors of Perception is a series of conferences and a network of people brought together around the events related to design, resilience and the role of information and communication technologies in society. It was organised by the Netherlands Design Institute from until , when it became an independent foundation financially supported by the Dutch government and the City of Amsterdam. Directed by John Thackara and Kristi van Riet, they meet roughly every 2 years in order to share their work and to expand the network. The conferences are based in Amsterdam with two so far in India, with a view to learning about models of communication, design practices and internet culture in this context, as well as finding ways of collaborating across Europe and South Asia. The latest event, Doors of Perception 8 , dealt with 'infrastructure' - what infrastructures are needed to enable 'bottom-up, edge-in social innovation' - and how these can then be designed. The event also focused on how to shift business and policy agendas away from top-down practices.
This reader is prepared for the annual Back To The Land 2. See also a selection of my recent talks here. Two young men set out to earn their freedom by clearing an area of forest; they are soon awestruck by the imposing, often impenetrable and seemingly limitless extent of the forest. It is one of the hardest to define. A human being has roots by virtue of his real, active and natural participation in the life of a community which preserves in living shape certain particular treasures of the past and certain particular expectations for the future. Place is a doorway into caring. Love of place unleashes the personal and political will needed to make profound change.
Confirm/Subscribe to the Newsletter
Below you will find short descriptions of the main projects we have produced since We also publish Doors of Perception Report, a free monthly email newsletter here. Newcastle upon Tyne. Since then, Doors has brought together grassroots innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and designers to imagine alternative futures — sustainable ones — and take design steps to realize them. From , the conference was a project of the Netherlands Design Institute, a government-funded think tank. In , Doors of Perception bv was founded — a small private company.
John Thackara born 6 August , Newcastle upon Tyne is a British-born writer, advisor and public speaker. Thackara writes about live examples of what a sustainable future can be like with a special focus on social and ecological design. He has published online since at thackara. Thackara studied philosophy , and trained as a journalist , before working for ten years as a book publisher and magazine editor. He was the first director —99 of the Netherlands Design Institute, in Amsterdam, and curated Doors of Perception from —