Synopses & Reviews
Read Warren Berger's posts on the Penguin Blog.
The first book to reveal how thinking like a designer can help solve the greatest challenges we face in business, society, and our daily lives.
What can we learn from the ways great designers think—and how can it improve our world? In this highly original book by journalist Warren Berger, in collaboration with celebrated designer Bruce Mau, ten groundbreaking principles of design are shown in action—addressing business, social, and personal challenges and improving the way we think, work, and live.
Glimmer takes readers on a journey through today’s fascinating world of design, where the formerly distinct disciplines of graphic, product, and social design are undergoing “smart recombinations.” In the cutting-edge studios of Mau and other visionaries, everything is ripe for reinvention—including the ways businesses function, children learn, and communities thrive. Designers are solving problems at an unprecedented pace today by using improved technology and the highly practical design principles described in this book, such as “Ask stupid questions,” “Make hope visible,” “Work the metaphor,” “Embrace constraints,” and “Begin anywhere.” Glimmer inspires readers to apply these same principles to their own life challenges.
While celebrated designers work on re-creating the world, Berger reveals the growing grassroots “glimmer movement” in which everyday people are emerging as designers and problem solvers. Readers will be fascinated by how “transformation design” is reinventing companies and addressing thorny social problems. Berger shares stories of how burned fingers, wrenched backs, and mixed-up pills all led to ingenious new product designs.
In a time of anxiety and retrenchment, this hopeful yet hardheaded book illuminates “the glimmer of possibility and potential—that first spark of an innovative idea or a life-changing plan.” According to Berger, “This faint light is all around us and also within us, if we can learn to recognize and nurture it.” The best designers already know how to transform that glimmer of possibility into the steady glow of creation and innovation —and with the inspiration of Glimmer, we’re now all able to do the same.
"Humanity's problems can be designed away with ingenious products and catchy marketing, according to this giddy manifesto. Journalist Berger (Advertising Today) channels the insights of celebrity designer Bruce Mau, whose grandiose projects he's helping the University of Arizona to 'reinvent higher education' yield such penses as 'everything communicates.' He distills Mau's wisdom into high-concept 'glimmer principles,' including 'work the metaphor' and 'design for emergence,' and applies them to everything from disaster relief to personal life. Berger tries to both abstract and systematize the process of innovative design and to give it a populist spin: you don't need expertise or money to solve problems, just optimism, an attentive eye and a childlike readiness to 'Ask Stupid Questions.' Nifty gadgets are showcased, including a nut-sheller for Third World farmers and a wheelchair that climbs stairs. But much of the book is just a retread of self-help bromides ('you have to be willing to grow') and familiar business buzz concepts, one that treats a pet food company's promotion of an international holiday for dogs as a humanitarian crusade. The result is an overhyped brief for a shallow approach to the world's ills." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this highly original book, 10 groundbreaking principles of design are shown in action--each addressing challenges often found in people's business, social, and personal lives.
An illuminating journey through today's fascinating world of design.
What can we learn from the ways great designers think-and how can it improve our lives? In CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies, and T-Shaped People Warren Berger, in collaboration with celebrated designer Bruce Mau, revolutionizes our understanding of design and unlocks the secrets of the trade. Looking to the creative problem-solving work of design professionals, Berger reveals that design is a mindset, a way of looking at the world with an eye toward improving it. The practice of design-thinking opens readers to their innate capacity for reimagining the world around them.
About the Author
Warren Berger is an award-winning journalist and author who has written for The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, Readerandrsquo;s Digest, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Business 2.0, and New York magazine. His work appeared in the 2001 Best Business Stories of the Year. He is the author of Advertising Today, Hoopla, and co-author of Nextville and No Opportunity Wasted. He is also the creator and editor of One, an acclaimed national magazine focusing on advertising and design.