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Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, Your Business, and Maybe Even the World
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Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, Your Business, and Maybe Even the World

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  159 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The first mainstream book to explore how the problem-solving, creative and insightful powers of Bruce Mau and the world’s other great designers can be applied to our everyday lives and businesses — and spawn creative epiphanies around the world.

What can be learned from great designers? How can design improve our lives? Answers abound in Glimmer. In the cutting-edge studios
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Random House Canada (first published 2009)
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Sabin Serban
Although at times I felt that this book is just an updated version of Wikinomics (I sometimes doubt the updated part) aimed at designers, complete with some obligatory design-speak, it managed to keep me interested to the end. Although at times it just seemed to go all over the place with the examples, some practical, others technical, others personal or more artistic in nature, it kept coming back to the idea of design as the expression of human will and desire (and Macs, he always had to retur ...more
This book was passed out by our VP as a "must-read." I assumed it was about graphic design, but it was about so much more. I loved the multiple case studies about how design - whether in a product, a process, or an idea - can really be transformative, far beyond what we usually consider. This book is about opening your mind to a new way of thinking and a shift in worldview. Very much worth the read.
Warren Berger's Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World was insightful and eye-opening. Design is not only about beautiful packaging and choosing the perfect font for a poster, rather a method of finding or solving problems to improve our daily lives. Berger uses various real life design examples such as the iBOT wheelchair, starting from what inspired the designer to how it was finally created. The book is not only aimed at those who know about design but, anyone wh ...more
I've been reading a lot lately about design -- it's a vastly misunderstood word. This book helped bring some clarity around the issue. After all, we're all designers.

Some highlights:

Design is a way of looking at the world with an eye toward changing it. To do that, a designer must be able to see not just what is, but what might be. And seeing is only the beginning. Designers are also makers. They take the faint glimmer of possibility and make it visible and real to others.

Ask stupid questions
Thomas Vree
Totally loved it. Some really great insights into design, and how design is becoming far more important to companies that want to survive and thrive in today’s world. Many companies think design is merely the packaging, the glossy veneer so to speak. But smart companies realize that design needs to extend not just to how the product looks, but everything. They need to design the whole experience, from how the product looks, but more importantly how it works, and the detailed research that goes i ...more
Scott Williams
It took me about a hundred pages to get into this. I found the first section repetitive and dull but it quickly became more interesting when the author began to discuss a wide range of examples of innovative design and explained how modern designers are working not only to design interesting products but also systems, cities and even personal lives.
Jose Batista
The old quip "the problem with this book is that the covers are too far apart" justly applies here.
Neelesh Marik
A practitioner's ready reckon-er on making the easy and difficult things happen. The following silver bullets embody the ready reckon-er themes, categorized in 4 fields where design thinking does apply.

Universal: Ask stupid questions, Jump fences, Make hope visible
Business: Go deep, Work the metaphor,
Social: Face consequences, Embrace constraints
Personal: Design for emergence, Begin anywhere

The following 2 videos summarize the ethos of the book.
Absolutely fascinating book on the way Design Thinking has changed the world, for better and worse, and what current Designers are doing to change everyone's life for the better. Every case study mentioned is amazing, my favorite being how Deborah Adler has revolutionized Target's pharmacy to make it easy to understand medication, and harder to take the wrong thing.

The worst part of this book is that it makes me want to go back to school and get into Design!

Andrew Karpiel
Changed the way I think about the word design. Great case studies on designing better processes and solutions. Changed the way I look at the world around me. I have always been able to identify inefficiencies and bad design, but this book tipped me over the edge towards designing better processes.

The term design is used very broadly and the designers mentioned are often made out to be gods/heroes but other than that an inspiring and well written book for me an outsider to the design industry.
Dan Graham
This a book by designers who apply the term ‘design’ (too broadly) to encompass almost everything that is invented, created, painted, machined, or constructed. The main thing I enjoyed about this book was some of the creative examples of design used to solve hard problems, but it was a bit snooty from the design perspective and it referred to the great designer so and so and the amazing work of so and so else so much that it became annoying. Still a worthwhile read.
Nathanael (Boehm) Coyne
Warren Berger's Glimmer is a practical book on design in business and social innovation based around ten principles covering ethnography, creative thinking and working within constraints.

Read the entire review at
Tara Joyce
An amazing book to help one understand the value of design thinking not only in business but in creating change in the world. It also discusses the brilliant work of designer, Bruce Mau, a evolutionary thinker.
Brings to light so many ideas about how to use design to improve the objects and lives around us. Some bits get a little slow and repetitive, but overall it has become a bit of a bible for me.
Hiten Samtani
Enlightening book that encourages us to think like designers. Well-written, engrossing, and tips are directly applicable to all aspects of business and life.
This is good book about design, although it is a perspective of the outside looking in. If you don't know who Bruce Mau is, you need to read this book!

I liked it. The book is based on an idea that everyone is a designer if trying to make anything better. It's motivational and optimistic.
Brock Lemieux
A good intro to design thinking, and after reading this book, I decided to stop reading too many more design thinking books...
James Ledoux
Engaging book about design, innovation, and engineering customer/user experience.

Mini biography of Bruce Mau, mini bio of some interesting products.
Mark Anderson
Interesting and what sounds like common since in many areas.
Jan 19, 2010 Kim is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Love this book, tons of ideas to apply to my work!
Don't whine, design.
Jan 25, 2010 Laura is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book is full of insights for a junior designer like myself.
Nov 20, 2010 Marsha marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfiled, rec-by-npr
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I’m an author and speaker on innovation, creativity, and the power of questioning. I invite fellow curious thinkers to join me in exploring the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas on my questioning site. My latest book is A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION, published by Bloomsbury Worldwide.
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