Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets) 0th Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262693264
ISBN-10: 0262693267
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$4.81 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$13.18 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
33 New from $8.51 30 Used from $4.81
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Save Up to 90% on Textbooks Textbooks
$13.18 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)
  • +
  • Design: A Very Short Introduction
Total price: $23.52
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Now, with Shaping Things, design gets full-court consideration in a powerfully argued thesis tracking the profession's trajectory toward a new product order...On top of being one of the most strikingly insightful little volumes on the design shelves, Shaping Things, designed by Lorraine Wild, is one of the most originally and empathically crafted pieces of evidence that artifacts do evolve, and that designers may hold the keys to a more sophisticated relationship to the things around us we take for granted.

(Architect's Newspaper)

Shaping Things is full of entirely readable large ideas, made palatable by Lorraine Wild's clean but evocative book design. The whole project exudes a confidence-building, you-too-can-be-an-architect-of-the-future tone, much like the work of Buckminster Fuller, who like Sterling was a practical visionary and often had to create a new language to describe his ideas...In the end, Shaping Things asks us to consider how we can create a sustainable future, using all the information available to us as consumers, without the preachiness that accompanies the environmental and sustainable lifestyle movements.

(Los Angeles Times Book Review)

Shaping Things is really about shaping experiences. Sterling brilliantly makes you more aware of experiences that your customers have -- or don't have -- with objects... Shaping Things presents a robust typology of technologies to inspire marketers and provoke innovators into rethinking their market offerings' essential qualities.

(Michael Schrage Across the Board Magazine)

It's the most thought provoking thing I've read all year...I can tell that this is a book I'll return to again and again and get more out of it each time I do. It's a wonderful and timely work that is a must-read in an age of ubiquitous computation, universal information resources, and hacker-activist renaissance, there's no better primer for putting it all together.

(Cory Doctorow BoingBoing)

A manifesto for the future of design, impeccably crafted by Bruce Sterling and enhanced by the delicately emphatic graphic intelligence of Lorraine Wild... Shaping Things hovers between science fiction and design fact, pushing forward into the future and showing how design happens.

(Bill Moggridge, Cofounder, IDEO)

About the Author

Hugo Award-winning science fiction author and futurist Bruce Sterling has been called by Time "perhaps the sharpest observer of our media-choked culture working today in any genre." Three of his novels have been New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and he has been a contributing writer for Wired since its conception. In 2005 he is "Visionary-in-Residence" at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. Bruce Sterling's blog Beyond the Beyond has been active since 2003.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


China
Engineering & Transportation Books
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Mediaworks Pamphlets
  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (October 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262693267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262693264
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #785,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bruce Sterling, author, journalist, editor, and critic,
was born in 1954. Best known for his ten science fiction
novels, he also writes short stories, book reviews,
design criticism, opinion columns, and introductions
for books ranging from Ernst Juenger to Jules Verne.
His nonfiction works include THE HACKER CRACKDOWN:
LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER (1992),
TOMORROW NOW: ENVISIONING THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS (2003),
and SHAPING THINGS (2005).

He is a contributing editor of WIRED magazine
and writes a weblog. During 2005,
he was the "Visionary in Residence" at Art Center
College of Design in Pasadena. In 2008 he
was the Guest Curator for the Share Festival
of Digital Art and Culture in Torino, Italy,
and the Visionary in Residence at the Sandberg
Instituut in Amsterdam. In 2011 he returned to
Art Center as "Visionary in Residence" to run
a special project on Augmented Reality.

He has appeared in ABC's Nightline, BBC's The Late Show,
CBC's Morningside, on MTV and TechTV, and in Time,
Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times,
Fortune, Nature, I.D., Metropolis, Technology Review,
Der Spiegel, La Stampa, La Repubblica, and many other venues.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A "Spime" may or may not eventually exist in the real world of the near future. A Spime is an object plus it's RFID or wireless ID that tracks the object during it full lifecycle.

What Sterling is trying to do is close the loop on manufacture and design in the modern age. No wait, scratch that: He's really saying that closing the loop via a Spime or something like it will be inevitable.

What do I mean by "closing the loop"? In the book Sterling makes the convincing case that the full impact of industrial output and design is not currently accounted for in the cost and design of objects made and sold. Rather, we "export" a lot of the impact into the future in the form of industrial waste and so on.

Spimes will allow intelligence and statistics about the full impact and lifecycle of objects to be fedback into future capitalism and industry. In fact, Sterling argues that, for future designers and manufacturers, the data representation of an object is potentially far more valuable than the sale price or the object itself. And as crazy as that sounds, in some industries (most notably credit cards) that's already true.

And the strength of this book lays not in the eventual reality of Spimes or the industrial environment Sterling envisions, but in the fact that Sterling attempts to sketch out something akin to a solution to current social & envionmental problems that actually makes sense in the current economic climate of the world. It's a good try, at least.

In terms of the layout, typography and design of the book, it is a hell of a lot of fun. There's plenty of pithy, epigrammatic phrases sprnkled thoughout the book, but over against a backdrop that is large convincing. It's a cute little book that you will definitely spend some time thinking about.
Comment 14 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...or perhaps it's just that "design" is an extremely broad category. Sterling presents a futurity that is at once realistic and utopian, frightening and hopeful.

This book would be useful for not just anyone designing anything, but anyone concerned with the future, how to achieve real sustainability, or how all that geeky stuff (you occasionally read about in the Wired you pick up at the airport) will really effect you.

I agree with another reviewer that the actual print design of the book is a hindrance, which is ironic; my distaste for it was only made worse by having already heard Sterling brag on it during a talk. But even with this beef, I have to give it a full five stars based on the content alone.
Comment 9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In `Shaping Things' Sterling shifts gears from fiction writer to activist. This concise book was written to inspire designers to visualize radical scenarios connecting information technology and sustainability. Sterling suggests new connections between the virtual world and the physical world that will have you rethinking many of your assumptions about how we relate to products. If you design artifacts, machines, gizmos or products, then read this book!

SPIMES = Wired.

Post-Industrial = Tired.

Industrial = Expired.
Comment 6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book is a high-level exploration of some ideas around design. While intelligent, the book is ultimately disappointing. It bites off more than it can chew, as it were, which leads to a frustrating reading experience. On the positive side, the author is well-informed and committed to his work. On the negative side, the book is badly written, needlessly biting in tone, and ungrounded in the very design constraints that the author would say make designers tick. Also, it seems like the author's view of designers verges on hero worship at times, which some other design critics and researchers have avoided. The book contains some interesting ideas, but the ceaseless neologisms and the slightly eccentric page design distracted from these ideas. All in all, a potential reader may prefer to tackle a classic such as "The Reflective Practitioner" or "Designing for People" on the design side, or perhaps "Our Choice (by Al Gore) on the environmental side.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This slim book, readable in a few short hours is, IMO, a very thoughtfull view of the issues facing design in a post modern world, with some insightful guideposts about designing in this world. I think it is way ahead of the curve in the area, discussing issues that I never see in any amount of design magazines and books that populate the shelves of bookstores. This is not a book about the form of things - the typical fetishist approach of most books about design - but the information that is wrapped around stuff as it makes its way through its cycly of production, use and discard.

Sterling writes clearly and concisely on the future and design of informational products, something he calls SPIMES, which contain information on time, place and state.

His ideas are thought provoking. I have already recommended this book to some designer friends - I hope they pick up a copy and read it.

Highly recommended.
Comment 6 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shaping Things is a pretty little book that packs a serious punch about history and the future. I first purchased it days after its publication. Loved the book, then went on to being engrossed in Kevin Kelly's Out of Control and What Technology Wants. I have since returned to reading Shaping Things and see it as one of the smartest of my futurist vision books.

Below are the frameworks and definitions Sterling proposes in Shaping Things, and I feel presenting them here is the best promotion of the book I can provide.

Chapter 2. Tomorrow Composts Today. Major terms and framework: Artifacts. Machines. Products. Gizmos. Spimes.

1) Artifacts: (def) Simple artificial objects. Made by hand, powered by muscle, created one at a time. People with an infrastructure of Artifacts are "Hunters and Farmers ".

2) Machines: (def) Complex, precisely proportioned artifacts with many moving parts tapped into a non-muscle power source. People using an infrastructure of Machines are "Customers".

Sterling the asks how to draw the line between an era of "hunters and farmers" and an era of "customers". How marks a "Line of No Return" and a "Line of Empire". I especially like the "Line of Empire".

Sterling dates the advent of Machine technoculture to the eclipse of the Mongols in the 1500's.
Read more ›
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)
This item: Shaping Things (Mediaworks Pamphlets)
Price: $13.18
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: shaping things bruce sterling