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Creativity on DemandThe Dilemmas of Innovation in an Accelerated Age$
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Eitan Y. Wilf

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226606835

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226607023.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

“Life Design”

“Life Design”

The Omnivorous Logic of Business Innovation

Chapter:
(p.147) Six “Life Design”
Source:
Creativity on Demand
Author(s):

Eitan Y. Wilf

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226607023.003.0007

This chapter looks at the migration of norms and practices of business innovation outside the business world as a consequence of their rising prestige. It provides an in-depth analysis of “life-design,” a set of commercially successful strategies developed by Silicon Valley innovators to help individuals “innovate” their lives and thereby achieve happiness. The chapter argues that the same modern-Romantic notions of the self that provided consultants with a model of creative potentiality and the cultural conditions of possibility for developing design thinking strategies for innovating technologies are now ironically being transformed as a result of the fact that the self has become the subject of those strategies as if it were a technology in need of innovation. The chapter unpacks what reflexivity means for the self as technology, what constitutes a well-designed life, what prototyping potential future lives entails, how the ideals of speed and instantaneity that suffuse business innovation affect notions of self-transformation when one’s life is approached as an object of innovation, what the presentation of self in the quest for a well-designed life means when it is the object of brainstorming sessions, and what socioeconomic conditions of possibility enable such a method of “self-innovation,” to begin with.

Keywords:   life-design, design thinking, technology, self-transformation, happiness, Silicon Valley, self-innovation, prototyping, brainstorming

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