Bruce Mau's
Massive Change Network

24 Hours to Massive Change principle

Begin With Fact-based Optimism

Our moment in history is the best time in human history to be alive and working. Why is that statement critical? Because we must be optimistic to undertake the demanding work that is needed to solve the great challenges ahead. However, there is a difference between being an optimist and being a Pollyanna, with a blinkered view of the good in the world. The only way to know what, where and how we can best contribute is to fully understand the current conditions — from a perspective of possibility.
That is why it is equally important to avoid being a pessimist. Communicate over and over how bad things are getting and you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. People become selfish, taking what they can while they can still get it. To be an optimist is to understand that when things get bad, what we need is for people to become generous. Communicate how good things could be and you create a culture where people invest in one another and invest in the future.

Compete With Beauty

The classical formal dimensions of design — color, contrast, proportion, shape — are powerful tools in the design of massive change. In the U.S., we think of beauty as an extra. But if you take beauty out of the equation of Apple, for example, they would be just like any other maker of tech products. They are Apple because they implemented beauty at the core of the company. Beauty is not just a rarified pursuit for the elite, but an everyday choice for businesses, consumers, and citizens, too.
24 Hours to Massive Change principle
24 Hours to Massive Change principle

Design the Invisible

Contrary to popular opinion, most design is not visual. When you take aesthetics out of the picture, you find design everywhere — if you know where to look. The new design is mostly invisible, deeply integrated into the complex systems that support our way of life. To consider how those systems work, how they don’t work, and how they could be re-imagined and re-engineered to function at the highest level, is to design the invisible.

We Are Not Separate From or Above Nature

We are one human family, part of and dependent on our planet’s one living system. The idea that we humans have dominion over an endlessly abundant nature is a dangerous relic of an age of arrogance and ignorance. We now have ample evidence that we depend on ecological systems to sustain us, and that there are real limits to the bounty nature provides. There is only one entity on the planet — life — and it is an ongoing experiment in myriad forms. We are merely one of those forms. Our approach to everything we do, design, and produce must be informed by this new knowledge.
24 Hours to Massive Change principle
24 Hours to Massive Change principle

We Each Have the Power to Inspire

To inspire we must do two things: First, be open to possibility. Second, live with purpose and ideals. To inspire, everything we do – how we use energy, how we produce things, how we conduct daily living – must be measured against our purpose and ideals. Where there are contradictions, we must be open about them, and work toward resolving them. The primary responsibility of a designer is to inspire, to galvanize a group into envisioning the future and moving toward it in a systematically creative and productive way. This approach allows us to take on things we don’t know how to do – and that no one else knows how to do, either.

The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

Written by Bruce Mau in 1998, The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth™ is a 43-point aphoristic articulation of Mau’s personal philosophy and design strategies for unleashing creativity.
Download the Manifesto
Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

A Designed Life

We live a designed life. Our health and medical system, our products and our experiences, our media and our sports, our energy sources and our movement of people and goods, our leisure, our culture – we design it all. What happens when we think about the role and power of design in our life​? A recent study monitored the growth of 14 design-driven companies and found that companies that place emphasis on design grew 299 per cent between 2003 and 2013. By contrast, over that same period, the S&P 500 grew just 75 per cent. Design thinking produces leadership.

So, what is design thinking? The ability to envision the future, by listening and learning, with creative freedom and rigorous analysis. The ability to design our future, to shift from what it looks like to what it does​ in our life, to our life.​