In my Toronto talk, I argued we’re changing heroes.
Specifically, we are moving from Raymond Loewy (above) to Rube Goldberg (below), from modernist stream lining to a world that is episodic, accidental, diverse in its composition, just barely interacting, always on the verge of stopping still, made from local materials, made from objects formed to another purpose, and inclined when they gain momentum to run like a river.
Our world is less a beautiful idea that springs full formed from a design intelligence and more an order that emerges in the moment of interaction. This is the wisdom of objects entering new, unexpected and "just barely" interactions. This is the dynamic version of what Weinberger so winningly, brilliantly called "small pieces loosely joined."
There’s the wonderful Honda ad that sprang from the planning work of Russell Davies. (In a sense we could argue that Russell’s Interesting 2007 was a network version of the Rube Goldberg cartoon, a place where unexpected, accidental contacts could and would be made.)
And yesterday, we got notice of an ad called Tipping Point for Guinness by Nicolai Fuglsig. It is glorious. Make that sublime. See it here.
Hail to Rube, visionary and man for our times.
Weinberger, David. 2002. Small Pieces Loosely Joined. New York: Basic Books.
See the Honda version of a Rube Goldberg Machine here.
For more on Ruben Garret L. Goldberg, see the Wikipedia entry here.
to the Very Short List for notice of the Guinness ad, here.