Glimmer: My best book of 2009

Check out Glimmer by Warren Berger.  I’ve been looking for a guide to the world of design, and Glimmer, with a wonderful website, is a whole sack of Sacagaweas.  I’m not to the bottom of it yet.

[BTW, I’m recusing myself from putting “If We Can Put a Man on the Moon…” by Bill Eggers and John O’Leary at the top of the list, for two reasons. First, I know both authors, and second, I’m listed there under Acknowledgements. I’m forever grateful for their referencing Improving Program Design, a publication of Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review that I both inspired and demanded.]

I WOULD like to offer a tip of the hat to Ralph Caplan,  a pioneer of modern design, for the following paragraphs from his book By Design:

“But aren’t the products of design hair dryers, computer screens, cereal boxes, curtains, bedspreads, vacuum cleaners, kitchen appliances…

“Sure. Also chairs and computer programs and office partitions, space capsules and tractors, restaurants and stores and cities, films and books, and government legislation and protest strategies.” [Emphasis added]

That was the first reference I’ve seen to ‘designing government’ since I first wrote “The Design of Government” early in the Carter Administration. It’s about time!

And only this year I found the second reference to ‘designing government’ — in a blog, Design Thinking, by Tim Brown. He’s one of Warren Berger’s glimmerati! I commented on his post on “Redesigning California” and you can see my entire comment there. My key sentence is:

“The need is for (a) design thinking, (b) familiarity with the known Tools of Government, and a deep understanding of the sciences of complexity (from cybernetics to chaos).”

Glimmer’s website has a hyperlinked list of the Glimmerati. What more do you need?

…world enough and time…

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