This morning I officially announced the book on twitter, my mailing list, via smoke signal and telepathy. Pre-orders will be available soon, and the best way to get the latest about the book is on my primary blog and mailing list, rather than here.
We’re on the home stretch now – and without further ado, here’s the final design approach for the book.
We’re still working on final images, and various Photoshop adjustments (color corrections, color style, etc.) The fun news is that the significance of all of these objects (and more) are actually covered in the book.
I hope you like it – and are getting ready for the book to come out in just a few months.
Here are resources, books, articles or videos I’ve compiled on the subject of evangelizing design or growing design influence. I’m surprised that there aren’t more materials out there (web searches for “design evangelism”, “ux evangelism”, “design advocacy”, etc. didn’t return much beyond what you see here).
Suggestions? Please Leave a comment.
“90% of the work of being a UX designer is evangelism” – David Malouf
You can see in the book outline, that the way I’m telling the story of design is structured around topics and lessons. Yet with the title How Design Makes the World, I’m trying to live up to the use of that last word.
I’ve ben searching for ways to include stories from diverse places. And use examples that aren’t the common ones designers use to teach design over and over again. Ideally these design stories touch on many kinds of design at the same time: interaction/usability, aesthetics and solving an interesting problem in an interesting way. I’m hoping there are anthropologists, architects and world travelers who have obvious references that design circles are not aware of.
Currently, the stories and examples come from 18 countries and 5 continents. I’d like to see if I can extend this further. Here’s a rough map of what’s in the current draft:
They include (in a mixed pile of cities and nations): Paris, NYC, London, Austria, Germany, San Francisco, New Zealand, Venice, Seattle, Pakistan, India, China, Japan, Dubai, Sweden, Croatia, Amsterdam, West Africa and Tokyo.
I suggested this one myself. A toguna is a tribal building from the country of Mali. It’s a kind of community space and courthouse. It’s designed with low ceilings so that when people come to settle a dispute, they can’t stand and try to fight each other.
Richard Turere, a teenager from a Maasai family, observed that lions stayed away when people patrolled their property at night with visible lights. He cleverly designed a simple system of flashing lights on poles that simulated what lions would see if a person was patrolling. Using solar panels and car batteries, the lion lights work all night, protecting people and livestock without much expense or effort. You can see his short TED talk on the design here.
Also see Beehive Fences, a technique for safely protecting crops from Elephants (!). Thanks Dave Cortright for these two.
Several people pointed me to Chand Baori, a famous temple and well in Jaipur. I’m familiar with it, but it’s more of a visual wonder than a functional one as best I understand. It’s also not an idea that can be reused in the way I’m hoping for, for the book. There’s not much transferable knowledge or insight, other than that functional things can be beautiful too.
From my own visit to India, I’m quite fond of Dhobi Ghat, an amazing outdoor laundromat that involves systems of coordination at massive scale to ensure clothes get washed properly by hand and don’t get lost. But it’s not a healthy place to work, so I resist using it as an example.
There’s also Dabbawala, the fascinating system of lunch delivery used in many Indian cities, especially Mumbai. Between 175,000 and 200,000 lunch boxes are moved each day by 4,500 to 5,000 dabbawalas. It’s like Uber Eats, but they’re unionized and self-employed. I’m particularly fascinated by how their organization system, for how they make sure the right food gets to the right place at the right time. There’s even a romantic comedy about it, called The Lunchbox. I watched it (research!) and it’s good.
And there are many other stunning places in India, but some take quite a bit of explaining, like Jantar Mantar, an amazing set of observatory “equipment” but works mostly today as a stunningly beautiful and fascinating park. For the book I have a strong preference for designs that solve functional problems in some way, so Jantar Mantar doesn’t really qualify.
5. Dolos, South Africa
For protecting coast lines from erosion, there are few better designs than the Dolo, invented in South Africa but now used around the world. The 8 ton blocks lock together in fitting pieces which makes them sturdy and reliable. Of course there’s no real interaction with people here, so it’s more a kind of industrial architecture than a human design element, but I found reading about them fascinating nonetheless. Thanks Louis Tredoux.
6. What’s missing?
It’s a big map, with lots of empty space. I want to work in as many stories from underrepresented places as I can.
What other good design stories do you know of that will help me fill in the spaces here? Leave a comment. Thanks.