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Barry M. Kātz

Barry Katz helped to articulate the philosophy of the Nonobject.Barry is Professor of Design at the California College of the Arts, Consulting Professor at Stanford University, and Fellow at IDEO, Inc. He is the author, with Tim Brown, of Change By Design: How Design Thinking can Transform Organizations and Inspire Innovation, and Tectonic Shift: The Unstable History of Silicon Valley Design, to be published by the MIT Press.

Titles by This Author

The “objective” world is one of facts, data, and actuality. The world of the “nonobject” is about perception, experience, and possibility. In this highly original and visually extravant book, Branko Lukic (an award-winning designer) and Barry Katz (an authority on the history and philosophy of design) imagine what would happen if design started not from the object but from the space between people and the objects they use. The “nonobject,” they explain, is the designer’s personal experiment to explore our relation to the observable world. So they show us an umbrella that puts us in a harmonious relationship with nature by sending falling rain rushing through the handle from an upturned top that resembles a flower; a spoon with a myriad of tiny bowls that allow us to savor our soup; a “superpractical” cell phone with keypad, speaker, and microphone on every surface. They imagine the ideal material, “Thinium,” incredibly thin and incredibly strong, environmentally and aesthetically beneficial. They show us clocks and watches that free us from time told by artificial demarcation and consider the possibility of a digital camera that captures the part of the scene we didn’t see. In NONOBJECT, product design meets philosophy, poetry, and the theater of the imagination. The nonobject fills us with surprise and delight.