The Power of Design: A Force for Transforming Everything

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9780978555283: The Power of Design: A Force for Transforming Everything
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In The Power of Design, Farson asserts a deeply engaging premise: Design can transform the world. It can put right what is wrong in our communities. It can address society's most intractable ills. Properly mobilized, he argues, design could make a whopping impact on deep-rooted dilemmas such as the ravages of poverty, the miserable state of the American education system, and the failure of criminal justice. It could do nothing short of move mountains. But the road to metadesign - a transcendent level of design that seeks to rectify fundamental problems by addressing the needs of all people - is no cake walk. Farson describes the many ways that designers of all types hold themselves back from serving society in meaningful ways. He exposes the evils of protectionism by professional societies, the ruinous results of commoditization, and the insidious nature of awards, for example. In the end, Farson leaves us with a powerful message of hope. If we have the courage to embrace design's unrealized potential, there appears to be no limit to the role it can play in the future of civilization.

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About the Author:

Richard Farson, PhD., is a psychologist, author, and educator. As co-founder and president of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, he directs the Institute's centerpiece program, the International Leadership Forum, a think tank of influential leaders addressing the critical policy issues of our time. Long interested in the field of design, Farson was founding dean of the School of Design at the California Institute of the Arts and a 30-year member of the Board of Directors of the International Design Conference in Aspen, of which he was president for seven years. He served on the American Institute of Architects Board of Directors and is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. His most recent books include Management of the Absurd: Paradoxes in Leadership and Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins: The Paradox of Innovation (with co-author Ralph Keyes).

Review:

A provocative tour de force re-imaging what design could be as the tool for helping us grapple with the deeply systemic and institutional challenges in our rapidly changing world. This book is a must-read not only for designers and their students but for anyone concerned with our collective future. A stunning and powerful book. --John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist of Xerox and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center, and Co-author, The Social Life of Information

Farson's wisdom, uncanny understanding of the human condition, and his at times infuriating but meticulously researched conclusions deeply challenge traditional thought about the role of design in society. This compelling and important book is a must-read for anyone involved in the major predicaments of our time, including our failing education system, healthcare, and growing global environmental challenges. Brilliant! --Jane Poynter, President, Paragon Space Development Corp., TV host, author, and Biosphere 2 crewmember

This is Richard Farson's masterpiece - the one and only book that illuminates the interdependence of design, organization and leadership. --Warren Bennis, University Professor, University of Southern California, and Author

A provocative tour de force re-imaging what design could be as the tool for helping us grapple with the deeply systemic and institutional challenges in our rapidly changing world. This book is a must-read not only for designers and their students but for anyone concerned with our collective future. A stunning and powerful book. --John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist of Xerox and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center, and Co-author, The Social Life of Information

Farson's wisdom, uncanny understanding of the human condition, and his at times infuriating but meticulously researched conclusions deeply challenge traditional thought about the role of design in society. This compelling and important book is a must-read for anyone involved in the major predicaments of our time, including our failing education system, healthcare, and growing global environmental challenges. Brilliant! --Jane Poynter, President, Paragon Space Development Corp., TV host, author, and Biosphere 2 crewmember

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