The folks at the design consultancy IDEO have written several intriguing and best-selling books on innovation. But one of my favorite books by the IDEO folks is a lesser known star, Thoughtless Acts? : Observations on Intuitive Design by Jane Fulton Suri (Chronicle Books, 2005).
 
This cool little book contains photos of the ways in which “average people” get inventive with their surroundings. You may have stuck a piece of cardboard under a table leg to stop the table from shaking, or used something for a seat that wasn’t meant to be a seat (a car trunk or pickup bed). 
 
Jane Suri and company went around looking for people doing things like this, and found an amazing range of creativity. I believe the book teaches us much about observation – how to keep our eyes open all the time, all around us. It also teaches us about good and bad design – people might not have to resort to all these things if we had better designs. And of course they are all great illustrations of creativity.
 
Most importantly, it is just a really fun book to flip through.  



   

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