Thoughtless Acts is an excellent little photo book from the brilliant minds at IDEO. Janet Fulton Suri, who directs human factors design at IDEO, compiled dozens of photographs illustrating how "we adapt, exploit, and react to things in our environment; things we do without really thinking." From the introduction:
"Some actions, such as grabbing onto something for balance, are universal and instinctive. Others, such as warming hands on a hot mug or stroking velvet, draw on experiences so deeply embodied that they are almost unconscious. Sill more, such as hanging a jacket to claim a chair, have become spontaneous through habit or social learning. Observing such everyday interactions reveals subtle details about how we relate to the designed and natural world. This is key information and inspiration for design, and a good starting point for any creative initiative."
The (Flash) Web site has a nice preview of the book and invites you to submit your own thoughtless acts to the growing collection. Still, the hardcopy, published by Chronicle Books, is a beautifully-designed objet d'art that's well worth the cover price. And Suri's essay at the end of the book reveals some of the lessons we can learn by opening our eyes to this fun and often-unconscious form of reality hacking.