Home > Design > Designing a better world – John Thackara

Designing a better world – John Thackara

As I continue my exploration of the world of Designing thinking – and the application of design thinking to business design – I am discovering a group of Designers who are looking to apply design principles to creating/designing a better world. A leading thinker in this area is John Thackara, who hosts the website Doors of Perception. Thackara is also the author of the book In the Bubble: Designing in a Complex World.

Here’s the introduction to Thackara’s Wikipedia page:

John Thackara is founder and Director of The Doors of Perception (Doors). This event production company organises festivals in Europe and India in which grassroots innovators work with designers to imagine sustainable futures – and take practical steps to realize them. Doors works with an international community of design and innovation professionals, and students, whose aim is to learn how to design services, some of them enabled by information technology, that meet basic needs in new and sustainable ways. This unique community of practice is inspired by two related questions: “we know what new technology can do, but what is it for?” and, “how do we want to live?”. The results are published on the Doors of Perception website, and discussed at the Doors of Perception conference.

Here’s a couple of videos online where Thackara discusses his thoughts and beliefs on applying Design to create a more inhabitable, sustainable world. The first is a talk Thackara gave at Liftfrance09:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The second is from a talk at IxDA09:

What a great title for a presentation: Designing for Business as Unusual! This presentation is quite brilliant actually in identifying the fundamental systemic problems currently facing our world. Thackara has captured many of his ideas in his book Wouldn’t it be great if …, which is available free for download.

I think Design approaches can bring a lot to the table to help solve the fundamental problems of our day – particularly those involving complex system and social dynamics.


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