Book Reads,  Design Thinking

I Have Fallen in Love with Cad Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies, and T-Shaped People!

Well, not literally! But I did thoroughly enjoy the book Cad Monkeys. Dinosaur Babies, and T-Shaped People: Inside the World of Design Thinking and How it Can Spark Creativity and Innovation by Warren Berger (That title is quite a mouthful!!). If you don’t believe me, consider the fact that I used up almost all of my super cute Target bin book tabs in this one book!

Book tabs on my book

I truly don’t even know where to start to describe all I learned from Berger. His deep dive into the world of design, and designers, read like a novel – fascinating characters, interesting plot developments, and a universal theme to do the right thing.

You know what? I’m just going to share some of my tabbed inspirations and see where it goes:

* It can be difficult to step back and look at one’s life with a fresh eye, but this is part of what design can teach us: how to view things sideways, how to reframe, rearrange, experiment, refine, and – maybe most important of all – how to ask “the stupid questions” that challenge assumptions about the way things have been done in the past.

* Jumping the fence…attempting to make the leap from the realm of known achievability (what we know is possible) to the much larger surrounding space (what we don’t know how to do yet).

* Everything a business does matters; that every action communicates a message to the world and also has consequences on some level.

* Jim Hackett, CEO of Steelcase: “There is an over celebration of getting things done” and not enough patience for “thinking as part of doing.”

* Dean Kamen: “We have to do whatever it takes to get ideas out there into the world. Otherwise, you’re just doing science fair projects.”

* Mark Noonan: “Instead of just asking a question, you have to take ownership of it.”

* Bruce Mau: Process enables experimentation. “It’s like a safety net.” People tend to feel more comfortable experimenting with new ideas and venturing onto unfamiliar turf when they carry with them an established method of working and solving problems. It means that even if they don’t quite know what they’re doing, they always know what to do.”

This book is like the Lorax, in that it speaks for design. And even though it’s about design, these quotes also speak to the heart of education. They speak to the work we must do to ensure student learning experiences are relevant to the world they inhabit today, and the future world problems they will be inheriting.

I leave them here, then, without my commentary so that they can speak to you as well. Tell me, what do you hear?

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