JOHNSON, Steven M.

Steven M. JohnsonSteven M. Johnson (www.patentdepending.com) is a self-described “whimsicalist” and “possibilitist,” an artist with a vision.  A future vision, that is. He draws objects that do not exist. But in actuality, his art is the sum of his parts:  A former urban planner, cartoonist and future trends analyst.

Johnson describes his process as “lateral thinking in whimsical product design.” He has created a yogamobile, zipper alarm underpants and devised a moat around your house that you can swim in which also keeps burglars out (one of several dual purpose inventions). Johnson’s inspirations are part social commentary, part mad scientist and part absurdist. 

Johnson’s meticulous ink drawings are a study in humor and inventive genius and have been featured in newspapers and magazines both nationally and abroad. A short list of magazines includes Road & Track, Harper’s, Utne Reader, Whole Earth Review, Esquire, The Futurist, Design Mind, Good, Fastcompany, as well as Box and Brutus (Japanese magazines). Three books of his work have been published: What the World Needs Now, Ten Speed Press, 1984 and 2001. Third edition, 2012; Public Therapy Buses, Information Specialty Bums, Solar Cook-A-Mats and Other Visions of the 21st Century, 1st Edition, St. Martin’s Press, 1991. In 2013 he published an expanded Second Edition. A new book, Have Fun Inventing, was published in 2012.

Steven M. Johnson was born in 1938 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied at Yale University and U.C. Berkeley. He presently lives in Northern California with his wife and son.