Are Designers the Enemy of Design?

| | | | |

Patrick Keenan from The Movement sent me this provocative link, which underscores the arguments Bob Logan and I are making in the Designing for Emergence papers:

Nussbaum on Design

March 18, 2007
Are Designers The Enemy Of Design?
Bruce Nussbaum

Here's the speech I gave at Parson's on Thursday that deals with the backlash against design. I've edited it just a bit. It's designed to provoke design management students and show how I've redesigned my job at Business Week from the Voice Of Authority to the Curator of the Conversation on Innovation. We all live life in beta now.

“How to Realize a Gallery Exhibition Based on Design-Oriented Content”

| | | | |

I was recently contacted about the Massive Change project by Matt Garmon, a student of OCAD where I'm currently teaching design. Following are his intro letter and interview questions, along with my answers.

"Hi Greg. I am currently in Todd Falkowsky's 3rd year Thesis Prep class at Ontario College of Art & Design. I am working on a case study based on the Massive Change project and was wondering if I could interview you to gain some personal insight into the project.

Specifically, I'm using the Massive Change exhibit as a model for how to effectively organize and realize a gallery exhibition based on design-oriented content. Your expertise and personal experience with this project would definitely help me generate a content-rich study and would be greatly appreciated. Would you be available to answer the following questions?"

1) What was the biggest obstacle/hurdle that the team encountered while working on the project? How did you overcome it?

In writing, curating and designing Massive Change, the biggest challenge was the overall ambition of the project. By this I mean the implications and reach of the critical questions, the sheer number and variety of deliverables, and the magnitude of the stakes.

Report from Massive Change Global Visionaries Symposium

| | | | | | |

Just returned from the Massive Change Global Visionaries Symposium in Chicago. As a co-creator of the Massive Change exhibition I wanted to see it in the first US showing. Another aim was to study the public event and possibly seek out some of the speakers for a symposium I'm co-organizing with colleagues at the Beal Institute. The event was eye opening and highly enjoyable.

Overall my favorite speakers were Stewart Brand, futurist and author of the Whole Earth Catalog, The Clock of the Long Now, and How Buildings Learn; Gunter Pauli, founder and director of Zero Emissions Research Initiative of the United Nations University in Tokyo (, founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, and Mary Czerwinski, cognitive psychologist and principal researcher at Microsoft. Brand and Pauli were certainly the most dynamic.

Everything Originates in Fire

| | | |

My friend Alex Busby just returned from Chennai, India where he was working on visual effects for a feature film. He related to me a philosophical concept about connectedness that he encountered there.

This view touched on everything from microbiology to the tangible realm including details like the chambers of the heart. One of the central ideas was that fire transforms inanimate substances and compounds into living ones -- it is a catalyst. It is held to be the most primal of the elements.

A ritual using coals and lighting fires from other fires was part of the experience Alex described. I hope to learn more about this. Perhaps it is connect with Ayurvdedic medicine or Vedic thought.

Metabolism: The sum of all biochemical processes involved in life

| | | | |

Definitions of "metabolism" from


1. The chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down to yield energy for vital processes while other substances, necessary for life, are synthesized.

2. The processing of a specific substance within the living body: water metabolism; iodine metabolism.

[From Greek metabole, change, from metaballein, to change : meta-, meta- + ballein, to throw.]

Syndicate content