Can the principles of design help us create a better world? Yes, says Thomas Fisher in his new book, Designing Our Way to a Better World ($26.95, University of Minnesota Press). The work of design, after all, is envisioning what is needed when it doesn’t yet exist.
Fisher, former dean of the College of Design and the new director of the Metropolitan Design Center at the University Minnesota, takes a broad-brush approach to our systems and process myopia. He advocates using the power of design to synthesize our knowledge about the world and improve the processes that run it. And he isn’t talking only about buildings, landscapes and infrastructure, but also about the invisible systems that our lives depend upon: schools, government, health care, the environment, and the economy. By harnessing the true power of design, he writes, we open up the possibility of a better future than the unsustainable and inequitable one we now face.