2 March 2012

Book: Wicked Problems – Problems Worth Solving

Be the first to share

Austin Center for Design today published a new book focused on the role of design in social entrepreneurship. Titled Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving, the book is presented as a handbook for teaching, learning, and doing meaningful disruptive design work. The book includes an introduction to wicked problems, describing some of the challenges and opportunities of design-led entrepreneurial activities. The text describes the skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship, and offers both methods and curricula for learning how to engage with large scale humanitarian problems.

The book is available for free in its entirety online, at wickedproblems.com, and is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which allows anyone to use the contents for their own non-commercial purposes.

Author Jon Kolko described the book as both “a call to action and a granting of permission. I’ve found that many designers desperately seek meaning in their work, but for any number of reasons, don’t feel empowered to act as an entrepreneur. Instead, they find themselves in high-paying jobs at famous corporations and consultancies, but doing work that they find boring or, worse, harmful. This book says to those designers, ‘It’s OK to start your own company. It’s OK to do meaningful work. It’s OK to expect more from your life.”

Kolko, formerly a director and principle at global innovation firm frog design, is now the founder of Austin Center for Design (AC4D), a non-profit school in Austin. AC4D teaches interaction design and social entrepreneurship, and graduates from the program go on to form their own double-bottom line companies. Kolko explained that “This book is a glimpse of what we’re thinking about at AC4D. It’s about working on problems that matter; it’s about problems worth solving. We’ve made the full text of the book available online for free in order to help advance the discussion of design-led social entrepreneurship.”

See also: Core77 book review

Be the first to share
27 November 2015
[Book] Research for Designers: A Guide to Methods and Practice
Research for Designers A Guide to Methods and Practice By Gjoko Muratovski - Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand and Tongji University, China SAGE Publications Ltd, January 2016 280 pages Abstract Design is everywhere: it influences how we live, what …
12 November 2015
Interview with John Thackara: how to thrive in the next economy
On the occasion of the U.S. launch of his new book, How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today, John Thackara sat down with Core77's Allan Chochinov to talk about the book, …
10 November 2015
[Book] Nudge and the Law: A European Perspective
Nudge and the Law: A European Perspective First Edition Edited by: Alberto Alemanno, Anne-Lise Sibony Hart Publishing December 2015, 400 pages Abstract Behavioural sciences help refine our understanding of human decision-making. Their insights are immensely relevant for policy-making since …
3 November 2015
Another book entitled “The Quantified Self”
The Quantified Self By Gina Neff and Dawn Nafus MIT Press, 264 pp. April 2016 Oops, that is confusing: two books by sociologists on the quantified self movement, both entitled "The Quantified Self" and both appearing in April 2016. …
30 October 2015
[Book] Digital Ethnography
Digital Ethnography: Principles and Practice By Sarah Pink, Heather Horst, John Postill, Larissa Hjorth, Tania Lewis and Jo Tacchi (RMIT University) SAGE Publications October 2015, 216 pages Abstract This sharp, innovative book champions the rising significance of ethnographic research on …
22 October 2015
[Book] Watching Closely by Christena Nippert-Eng
Watching Closely: A Guide to Ethnographic Observation by Christena Nippert-Eng Oxford University Press, October 2015 296 pages Ethnographers rely on three related activities to conduct research in the field: observation, conversation, and participation. Observing others in their environments and …
17 October 2015
[Book] Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking
Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking By Richard E. Nisbett Farrar, Straus & Giroux August 2015 Description Scientific and philosophical concepts can change the way we solve problems by helping us to think more effectively about our behavior and our world. …
17 October 2015
[Book] The Quantified Self
The Quantified Self - A sociology of self-tracking by Deborah Lupton Polity Press April 2016 Description With the advent of digital devices and software, self-tracking practices have gained new adherents and have spread into a wide array of social domains. …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

13 October 2015
Experientia report: Design for ageing gracefully

Design for Ageing Gracefully Rethinking Health and Wellness for the Elderly: Public Services Asian Insights & Design Innovation, DesignSingapore Council October 2015

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
See all articles