Design & Philosophy

I Miss My Pencil

What if doorbells used smell instead of sound? What if watches told time more slowly on weekends? Designers at the ground-breaking firm IDEO the most innovative design company in the world push themselves to ask seemingly outrageous questions like these daily as they work to construct the products that shape our lives. Following 12 design experiments conceived by designers at IDEO, I Miss My Pencil takes a voyeuristic look at what designers do daily, might get to do once, and sometimes only hope to do.

Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers, and Many Other Things Come to be as they Are

Molotch takes us on a fascinating exploration into the worlds of technology, design, corporate and popular culture. We now see how corporations, designers, retailers, advertisers, and other middle-men influence what a thing can be and how it is made. We see the way goods link into ordinary life as well as vast systems of consumption, economic and political operation. The book is a meditation into the meaning of the stuff in our lives and what that stuff says about us.

 

Toothpicks & Logos: Design in Everyday Life

Design touches virtually every aspect of our lives, imbuing the most humdrum of objects with meaning. In Toothpicks and Logos, John Heskett illuminates a subject as vast and complex as human life itself, ranging from the earliest found implements in our history--the stick, the shell, the cupped hand--to modern advertising logos, software interfaces, and even the lowly toothpick.

Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams

"In the more than 40 years that he spent working at Braun, Dieter Rams established himself as one of the most influential designers of the twentieth century. His elegantly clear visual language not only defined product design for decades, but also our fundamental understanding of what design is and what it can and should do. Dieter Rams created ten rules of design more than twenty years ago. Sometimes referred to as the ten commandments, they are just as relevant today: Good design is innovative. Good design makes a product useful. Good design is aesthetic.

It's Not How Good You Are, it's How Good You Want to Be

It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be is a handbook of how to succeed in the world—a pocket 'bible' for the talented and timid to make the unthinkable thinkable and the impossible possible. The world's top advertising guru, Paul Arden, offers up his wisdom on issues as diverse as problem solving, responding to a brief, communicating, playing your cards right, making mistakes and creativity, all notions that can be applied to aspects of modern life.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance.

The Laws of Simplicity (Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life)

Finally, we are learning that simplicity equals sanity. We're rebelling against technology that's too complicated, DVD players with too many menus, and software accompanied by 75-megabyte "read me" manuals. The iPod's clean gadgetry has made simplicity hip. But sometimes we find ourselves caught up in the simplicity paradox: we want something that's simple and easy to use, but also does all the complex things we might ever want it to do.

Machine Beauty: Elegance And The Heart Of Technology

When something works well, you can feel it; there is a sense of rightness to it. We call that rightness beauty, and it ought to be the single most important component of design.This recognition is at the heart of David Gelernter’s witty argued essay, Machine Beauty, which defines beauty as an inspired mating of simplicity and power. You can see it in a Bauhaus chair, the Hoover Dam, or an Emerson radio circa 1930.

In Praise of Shadows

An essay on aesthetics by the Japanese novelist, this book explores architecture, jade, food, and even toilets, combining an acute sense of the use of space in buildings. The book also includes descriptions of laquerware under candlelight and women in the darkness of the house of pleasure.

 

Masterworks of Technology: The Story of Creative Engineering, Architecture, and Design

Human beings have always tried to find ways to make life easier. In ancient times, all but a privileged few could count on slow, hard, physical labour to account for the bulk of their waking hours. Yet one of the gifts of the human race is the ability to innovate, to envision and then create the technology that allows work to be done easier, faster, more thoroughly, and more consistently.

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