What the World Needs Now: A Resource Book for Daydreamers, Frustrated Inventors, Cranks, Efficiency Experts, Utopians, Gadgeteers, Tinkerers and Just about Everybody Else (Third Edition) by Steven M Johnson (Paperback / softback, 2012)
Ever wanted a chair that converts into a rowing machine? Sunglasses that serve as a wallet? A car with a sundeck so you can work on your tan on those long road trips? Well, inventor and illustrator Steven Johnson has designed these marvels and many, many more, spurred on by a truly insatiable imagination. His wacky, wonderful concepts could very well change the world-that is, if someone was ever bold eugh to build them. From clothing to dining techlogy, home furnishings to appliances, and gardening gadgets to survival gear, WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW is a sourcebook of revolutionary designs that prove how far our tech-culture has yet to go. The book includes a three-step description of the author's method for imagining possible future products.
In 1974, at age 35 Steven M. Johnson had a sideline business creating cartoons for publication in magazines. His satirical images on environmental issues were appearing each issue in The Sierra Club Bulletin, later renamed Sierra Magazine. An editor asked him to invent and draw 16 satirical images of future recreation vehicles and he produced more than 100 ideas before he decided to stop. Since then, his whimsical inventions have appeared in magazines newspapers and books in the U.S., Japan and Sweden. They are often seen online at sites that feature unusual ideas for products and inventions. His two books display his often odd, whimsical, plausible and at times prophetic ideas. His three careers have all touched on the subject of the future, first as an urban planner working on future city plans, second as a newspaper illustrator creating a weekly cartoon panel that showed his ideas for future products, and lastly in the R&D section of a Japanese auto maker working as a futurist working in a small department that studied future trends and scenarios.