John Thackara

To do things differently, we need to see things differently. That’s what Doors of Perception is about.

The author of this blog, and the founder of Doors of Perception, is John Thackara. He does live and online talks
, and produces events, for cities, institutions and organisations around the world. The outcomes of each collaboration are, typically: a shared perception of new opportunities; a good idea of how to exploit them; and new connections between people to make those actions happen.

Above right: John’s one page speaker flyer and formal cv.

Profile

John Thackara

 

(Photograph: Uros Abram)

For thirty years John Thackara has traveled the world in his search of stories about the practical steps taken by communities to realize a sustainable future. He writes about these stories online, and in books; he uses them in talks for cities, and business; he also organizes festivals and events that bring the subjects of these stories together.

John is the author of a widely-read blog at designobserver.com and of the best-selling In the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World (MIT Press) – also translated into nine languages. As director of doorsofperception.com, John organizes conferences and festivals in which social innovators share knowledge. He has lectured in more than forty countries.

A Brit who now lives in southern France, John studied philosophy, and trained as a journalist, before working for ten years as a book and magazine editor. He was the first director (1993—1999) of the Netherlands Design Institute in Amsterdam; he was program director of Designs of The Time (Dott07), the social innovation biennial in England; he was commissioner in 2008 of France’s main design biennial, Cite du Design.

John is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, in London, and a Fellow of The Young Foundation, the UK’s social enterprise incubator. He sits on the advisory boards of the Pixelache Festival in Helsinki, the Future Perfect festival in Sweden, and Design Impact in India. He is also a member of the UK Parliament’s Standing Commission on Design.

Earlier, John edited the magazine Design for five years, and was later Modern Culture Editor of Harpers & Queen, and design correspondent of The Guardian. He then started a conference and exhibition company ,with offices in London and Tokyo, which created and organised events at the Pompidou Centre, Victoria & Albert Museum, Axis Gallery in Tokyo, and other venues. From 1989-1992  John was Director of Research at the Royal College of Art.

Among John’s 12 books are Design After Modernism: Beyond the Object (1987), and Lost in Space: A Traveller’s tale (1995). His most recent book, the best-selling In the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World, was published by MIT Press in May 2005 and has since been published in nine other languages. He has lectured in more than forty countries.

Fast Company described John Thackara as “a business provocateur….”. For the Wall Street Journal, he “has established a global reputation as a cutting edge design expert”. Wired called him a “a design luminary”. The San Francisco Chronicle described him as a “wired era visionary”. The Economic Times of India noted his “brilliant insights into the internet and sustainability”. For the influential weblog Rhizome he is “top dog in the space of flows”.