Linknotes, July 16, 2010

Image source: Unknown

Some of the things that we found of interest this week –

Nice concept – “Take a Closer Listen – 72 pages of sound” – verbal descriptions of favorite sounds in a self-published book, as reviewed at BLDGBLOG

David Brooks on the personalities of business – “princes” and “grinds” – and the importance of supporting “the country’s loners, its contrarians and its narrow, ambitious outsiders” to spark and sustain the economy

Four points of view about which problems to solve that may influence strategies and actions in innovation – strategic problems, design problems, marketing or launch problems, and consistent business processes

Serendipity and discovery – A new theory of “gravity” generated after a theft of a laptop caused a change in plans. “It’s interesting,” Herman said, “how having to change plans can lead to different thoughts.”

Some considerations on skewed values between thinking about design and actually doing stuff

And the continuing debate (and here, and here) on “do-gooder design and imperialism”

Detroit seems to have become a focus for Design Observer. As we noted earlier, two posts there this week explored the issues and opportunities in the city. I especially liked Dan Pitera’s slideshow and essay, Detroit: Syncopating an Urban Landscape. Dan’s essay made reference to the Steel Winds project in Lakawanna. Somewhat connected, there is also this article in the New York Times this week on the aspiring imitators of the enormously successful High Line development in Manhattan.

Separately, but related, the Harvard Business blogs reflected on the importance of cause marketing and used as an example the  surprising success with the “I’m in” campaign for the Detroit Public Schools

(For some amusement, things are a bit strange further north)

And, some self-reflective links –

A thought about how “master planning” seems so out of date

Considerations about design RFP’s and their inadequacy as expressions of the real problem to solve

My own thoughts on the self-destructive threat in closed environments, or, more appropriately the delights and benefits of openness that yield differential success (below), and we appreciated this extension of the conversation

A decision-making rubric | http://jimmeredith.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/true-ups-let-gos-big-leaps/

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