How does our environment influence our behavior? This lovely book, by Jane Fulton Suri + IDEO, highlights things we do as we interact with the objects in our world and with other people. It challenges us to consider: which of these acts are conscious and which are done without thought? How do we react, respond, co-opt, and confom to our world? How do we create signals to other people about what belongs and what should happen?

Some of my favorites:

“reacting? …we interact automatically
with objects and spaces that we encounter”

“co-opting? …we make use of opportunities
present in our immediate surroundings”

“adapting? …we alter the purpose or context of things
to meet our objectives”

“conforming? ..we learn patterns of behavior from others
in our social and cultural group”

If the book isn’t enough, or if you want to participate, there’s also a Flickr group on the topic. Here are some highlights:

Problems worth solving… It’s a mistake to interpret observations too literally, though: the world doesn’t need a uniquq design solution for every creative adaptationwe see (that’s the kind of stuff that ends up advertised in in-flight catalogs!)”

The book has a very nice web site, which cycles through a selection of photos from the book when you click on different sections; however, you the object itself is really very wonderful. You should buy it or ask me to show it to you the next time you see me :)

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