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Dark matter and trojan horses. A strategic design vocabulary by Dan Hill

Dark matter and trojan horses. A strategic design vocabulary

Dark Matter and Trojan Horses by Dan Hill is a groundbreaking book that explores how strategic design can drive innovation and transformation in businesses.

  • Design is not just about aesthetics, but also about shaping systems and experiences. The book emphasizes the importance of strategic design in driving innovation and transformation.

Example: The author discusses how the design of the Oyster card system in London transformed the city's transportation experience by seamlessly integrating different modes of transport.

  • The concept of "dark matter" refers to the invisible forces that shape our experiences and interactions with designed systems. Understanding these hidden influences is crucial for effective design.

Example: The book explores how the design of public spaces can be influenced by factors like social norms, cultural expectations, and power dynamics.

  • "Trojan horses" are design interventions that disrupt existing systems and create opportunities for change. They challenge the status quo and enable transformation by introducing new ways of thinking and acting.

Example: The author presents the case of Tactical Urbanism, where temporary design interventions like pop-up parks and street installations are used to challenge traditional notions of urban planning.

  • The book introduces a strategic design vocabulary that helps practitioners and organizations navigate the complexities of designing for innovation and transformation. It provides a framework for understanding and discussing design strategies and their impact.

Example: The author presents a range of design terms, such as "affordances," "assemblages," and "infrastructures," that help in analyzing and shaping the relationships between people, technology, and the built environment.

  • The future of design lies in embracing complexity and uncertainty. The book argues that designers need to be comfortable with ambiguity and be able to navigate through multiple layers of complexity to create meaningful and transformative solutions.

Example: The author discusses how the design of smart cities requires designers to consider not only the technological aspects but also the social, cultural, economic, and political implications of such interventions.

While "Dark Matter and Trojan Horses" offers a comprehensive strategic design vocabulary, some readers may find the book overly technical and lacking in practical examples. However, these minor drawbacks do not overshadow the valuable insights and innovative ideas it presents.

In conclusion, Dark Matter and Trojan Horses provides a comprehensive strategic design vocabulary that offers valuable insights to the world of innovation and transformation. While it may have some drawbacks, its lasting impact lies in its ability to empower businesses with the tools and mindset needed for successful adaptation and growth.

How do you play the long game?

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The 4 Modes of Strategic Change



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