Where Good Ideas Come From

Steven Berlin Johnson at South by Southwest in...
Steven Berlin Johnson at SXSW 2008 (via Wikipedia)

On November 2nd I will be chairing a free event in London about creativity and innovation.  Steven Johnson, best-selling nonfiction author of Mind Wide Open and Everything Bad is Good for You will be presenting his latest book, Where Good Ideas Come From: A Natural History of Innovation.

I am super excited to meet Steven Johnson, whose writings have inspired my own thinking about how technology is shaping the future of human creativity. He’s been one of my modern intellectual role models since I read his 2005 post and New York Times Book Review essay about how he uses DevonThink to mine his past creative ideas and prior research and to write books (more on that below*). I love the sophisticated and far-reaching way that SBJ analyzes and predicts how emerging tools, innovations, and trends will impact human behavior. Continue reading “Where Good Ideas Come From”

The Measurement of Design (and Other Squishy Concepts), or, Why Designers Need Scholars

What do academics do that designers don’t? And why should designers care?Hanging rulers, taken by Unhindered by Talent  (Flickr)

These were some of the challenging questions asked at the Design & the Creative Industries: Working Together with Universities conference last Friday in Brighton. As a scholar and teacher, I was feeling rather unappreciated (and frankly over-valued by society, relative to all of Those Who Can Do so Don’t Teach I was surrounded by in the audience).

I was forced to grapple with the value of my own line of work. This is what I came up with: Scholars are good at certain things that designers and artists need, and vice versa. Continue reading “The Measurement of Design (and Other Squishy Concepts), or, Why Designers Need Scholars”