Design

A pattern language

By Christopher Alexander

Brief description

At the core of A Pattern Language is the philosophy that in designing their environments people always rely on certain ‘languages,’ which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a formal system which gives them coherence.

This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable making a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. ‘Patterns,’ the units of this language, are answers to design problems: how high should a window sill be?; how many stories should a building have?; how much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?

More than 250 of the patterns in this language are outlined, each consisting of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seems likely that they will be a part of human nature and human action as much in five hundred years as they are today. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 17

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Organizations as Learning Systems

Elsevier Science Ltd

Brief description

The main contribution of this book is the living composition, the model of living organizations. It is a new and original interpretation of the theory of living, self-producing systems (autopoiesis theory). A living composition is defined here as strategic components and their relationships. A living organization is thereby a self-producing system that is composed of ten different non-physical strategic components that are continually produced by the organization itself. The components and their relationships are defined so that they enable and facilitate interconnected openness and closure, i.e. the 'sensing' (interactive openness) and 'memory' (self-referentiality) of an organization. These characteristics and related knowledge flows enable the capability to learn and co-evolve with the broader business ecosystem.  (Source)

Related to podcast episode 16

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Massive change

By Bruce Mau, Jennifer Leonard, Institute Without Boundaries

Brief description

Massive Change is a modern illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are affecting the human race worldwide. The book is a part of a broader research project by Bruce Mau Design intended to provoke debate and discussion about the future of design culture, broadly defined as the "familiar objects and techniques that are transforming our lives."

In essays, interviews, and provocative imagery aimed at a broad audience, Massive Change explores the changing force of design in the contemporary world, and in doing so expands the definition of design to include the built environment, transportation technologies, revolutionary materials, energy and information systems, and living organisms.

The book is divided into 11 heavily illustrated sections covering major areas of change in contemporary society — such as urbanism and architecture, the military, health and living, and wealth and politics. Each section intersperses intriguing documentary images with a general introductory essay, extended captions, and interviews with leading thinkers, including engineers, designers, philosophers, scientists, architects, artists, and writers. Concluding the book is a graphic timeline of significant inventions and world events from 10,000 B.C. to the present. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Design for the Real World

By Victor Papanek

Brief Description

Design for the Real World has, since its first appearance twenty-five years ago, become a classic. Translated into twenty-three languages, it is one of the world's most widely read books on design. In this edition, Victor Papanek examines the attempts by designers to combat the tawdry, the unsafe, the frivolous, the useless product, once again providing a blueprint for sensible, responsible design in this world which is deficient in resources and energy. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Designing Reality

By Neil Gershenfeld, Alan Gershenfeld, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

Brief description

That's the promise, and peril, of the third digital revolution, where anyone will be able to make (almost) anything
Two digital revolutions--computing and communication--have radically transformed our economy and lives. A third digital revolution is here: fabrication. Today's 3D printers are only the start of a trend, accelerating exponentially, to turn data into objects: Neil Gershenfeld and his collaborators ultimately aim to create a universal replicator straight out of Star Trek. While digital fabrication promises us self-sufficient cities and the ability to make (almost) anything, it could also lead to massive inequality. The first two digital revolutions caught most of the world flat-footed, thanks to Designing Reality that won't be true this time. (Source)

Mentioned in episode 10

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Leaping the Abyss: Putting Group Genius to Work

By Chris Peterson

Brief description

Leaping The Abyss: Putting Group Genius To Work is the single most in-depth description and analysis of the patented DesignShop® facilitation methodology invented by the MG Taylor Corporation. Written by two authors who attended a DesignShop event in 1995, Leaping The Abyss provides a detailed step-by-step account of the three-day event, including interviews and anecdotes from participants from a diversity of industries such as healthcare, management consulting, government, military, automotive, food and beverage, education, and high-technology, as well as, a behind the scenes look at how DesignShop experiences are created and the personnel who facilitate them. An extensive bibliography, dozens of web links, illustrations, tips and suggested exercises with each chapter offer the reader a great source of new ideas for facilitating the creative process within their own workplace (source)