In the bubble [electronic resource] : Designing in a complex world.

by Thackara, JohnLooking glass; ProQuest (Firm) [supplier.]Looking glass.

Series: The MIT Press Ser: Publisher: Cambridge : MIT Press, 2006.Description: 1 online resource (333 pages).ISBN: 9780262284806.Subject(s): Engineering design.;Industrial designAlternative form: Print version: In the Bubble : Designing in a Complex World 9780262701150Online access: Read this e-book from ProQuest
List(s) this item appears in: CSM M Arch e-books | BA GCD e-books CSM | BA DAD - essential e-books | CSM MA Applied Imagination ebooks
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

How to design a world in which we rely less on stuff, and more on people.

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.

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Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2020. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Thackara exhorts designers to create simpler, lighter, and more efficient systems for living. Like Buckminster Fuller and Victor Papanek of the 1960s and 1970s, Thackara paints an image of a world with limited resources and a society using them at a rate that cannot be sustained. Unlike Fuller and Papanek, Thackara does not show examples of good design. In fact, the author's photo on the dust jacket is the book's only picture. The book includes extensive endnotes, more than 50 pages' worth, as well as an extensive bibliography. Throughout, Thackara raises more questions than he answers. However, in the final chapter he proposes seven transitions for design. These proposals emphasize thinking of design as a system for constantly improving the services a company provides, as opposed to a means to create beautiful objects to be consumed. Thackara takes on more than design in this work. He addresses society as a whole and asks the reader to think of the big picture. He addresses problems in health care, education, transportation, manufacturing, and life quality in both industrialized and Third World societies. Thackara encourages all designers to think of the big picture instead of just tomorrow's deadline. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals. S. Visser Purdue University

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No cover image available In the bubble : by Thackara, John ©2006
No cover image available In the bubble : by Thackara, John ©2006