Plenitude Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff

ISBN-10: 0262072890

ISBN-13: 9780262072892

Edition: 2006

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Description: We live with a lot of stuff. The average kitchen, for example, is home to stuff galore, and every appliance, every utensil, every thing, is compound--composed of tens, hundreds, even thousands of other things. Although each piece of stuff satisfies some desire, it also creates the need for even more stuff: cereal demands a spoon; a television demands a remote. Rich Gold calls this dense, knotted ecology of human-made stuff the "Plenitude." And in this book--at once cartoon treatise, autobiographical reflection, and practical essay in moral philosophy--he tells us how to understand and live with it. Gold writes about the Plenitude from the seemingly contradictory (but in his view, complementary) perspectives of artist, scientist, designer, and engineer--all professions pursued by him, sometimes simultaneously, in the course of his career. "I have spent my life making more stuff for the Plenitude," he writes, acknowledging that the Plenitude grows not only because it creates a desire for more of itself but also because it is extraordinary and pleasurable to create. Gold illustrates these creative expressions with witty cartoons. He describes "seven patterns of innovation"--including "The Big Kahuna," "Colonization" (which is illustrated by a drawing of "The real history of baseball," beginning with "Play for free in the backyard" and ending with "Pay to play interactive baseball at home"), and "Stuff Desires to Be Better Stuff" (and its corollary, "Technology Desires to Be Product"). Finally, he meditates on the Plenitude itself and its moral contradictions. How can we in good conscience accept the pleasures of creating stuff that only creates the need for more stuff? He quotes a friend: "We should be careful to make the world we actually want to live in."

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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 8/10/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 136
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Rich Gold (1950-2003) was an artist, composer, designer, inventor, lecturer, and writer. Equally at home in the worlds of avant-garde art, academia, and business, he worked at various times for Sega, Mattel, and Xerox PARC.

John Maeda is President of Rhode Island School of Design and former Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab. In 2008 Esquire magazine named Maeda one of the 75 most influential people of the twenty-first century. He is the author of The Laws of Simplicity (MIT Press, 2006) and other books.

An internationally recognized leader at the intersection of design and technology, John Maeda is Design Partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Silicon Valley. He served until 2014 as the 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and before that was Associate Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is a designer, technologist, and catalyst behind the national movement to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to STEAM with the addition of the arts. He is the author of Design by Numbers (1999), The Laws of Simplicity (2006) and Redesigning Leadership (2011), all published by The MIT Press.

Foreword
Preface
Introduction
The Four Creative Hats I've Worn
Science
Art
Design
Engineering
The Other Wall
Seven Patterns of Innovation
Necessity Is the Mother of Invention
It's a Thing of Genius
The Big Kahuna
The Future Exists
Colonization
Stuff Desires to Be Better Stuff
Change the Definition
The Plenitude
Life Is Fecund
The Plenitude of the Mall
Progress and Industry
In my most cynical moments . . .
The bland and the ugly
The real and the faux
The unplenitude
Destroying the world
How many genetically modifi ed organisms . . .
Pass a law
Reject the Plenitude
Quality over Quantity
Zero-growth economies
Just make the good stuff
The real problem is too many people
Just love it
A Moral
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