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The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and…
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The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff (Simplicity:… (edition 2007)

by Rich Gold, John Maeda (Foreword)

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764282,848 (2.81)None
Lessons from and for the creative professions of art, science, design, and engineering: how to live in and with the Plenitude, that dense, knotted ecology of human-made stuff that creates the need for more of itself. 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."… (more)
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Title:The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)
Authors:Rich Gold
Other authors:John Maeda (Foreword)
Info:The MIT Press (2007), Hardcover, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Plenitude: Creativity, Innovation, and Making Stuff (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life) by Rich Gold

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The author reflects on the Plenitude -- the ecology of man-made things -- and his career of contributing to it as an artist and a designer. In simple cartoons and words, he outlines the four general perspectives of the artist, the scientist, the designer and the engineer. Moreover, he characterizes seven general innovation strategies and discusses the nature and ethics of the Plenitude. For me, the simplicity of the book combines insight and over-simplification in a way that is at the same time refreshing and disturbing. The final impression, however, is positive. I find that Gold manages to raise a broad range of issues in a highly compact and accessible form; issues that are fundamentally important to interaction designers as well as to other contributors to the Plenitude.
  jonas.lowgren | Feb 22, 2011 |
It's now available as an ebook on the MIT press portal http://mitpress-ebooks.mit.edu/product/plenitude
  ipublishcentral | Nov 2, 2009 |
The author gracefully switches between describing the completely obvious and preaching at the reader. Mr. Gold's book recovers a half star for having only 111 small pages with pictures. Reading this book wasted my time, but the book's small size prevented much loss. ( )
1 vote JayDugger | Mar 24, 2008 |
Maybe I was expecting too much from this book. I still don't feel well with the high contradiction with "the plenitude" explained by the author. He wanted to clearly show that paradox (of creating and destroying sometimes) in our societies when we create or design new services or products... Yes that's true but I was just expecting more positivism on the result of innovation. A good book for starting the discussion around the good and the bad around creativity and innovation. ( )
  adulau | Oct 7, 2007 |
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Lessons from and for the creative professions of art, science, design, and engineering: how to live in and with the Plenitude, that dense, knotted ecology of human-made stuff that creates the need for more of itself. 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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