Every summer we recommend reading for our incoming class in the fall. This year's books feature a wide variety—from design delight through design thinking to some wonderful basic skills. Dig in and enjoy!
Equal parts mail art, data visualization, and affectionate correspondence, Dear Data celebrates "the infinitesimal, incomplete, imperfect, yet exquisitely human details of life," in the words of Maria Popova (Brain Pickings), who introduces this charming and graphically powerful book. For one year, Giorgia Lupi, an Italian living in New York, and Stefanie Posavec, an American in London, mapped the particulars of their daily lives as a series of hand-drawn postcards they exchanged via mail weekly—small portraits as full of emotion as they are data, both mundane and magical. Dear Data reproduces in pinpoint detail the full year's set of cards, front and back, providing a remarkable portrait of two artists connected by their attention to the details of their lives—including complaints, distractions, phone addictions, physical contact, and desires. These details illuminate the lives of two remarkable young women and also inspire us to map our own lives, including specific suggestions on what data to draw and how. A captivating and unique book for designers, artists, correspondents, friends, and lovers everywhere.
Representing a new generation of designers in Japan, Kenya Hara (born 1958) pays tribute to his mentors, using long overlooked Japanese icons and images in much of his work. In Designing Design , he impresses upon the reader the importance of emptiness in both the visual and philosophical traditions of Japan, and its application to design, made visible by means of numerous examples from his own work: Hara for instance designed the opening and closing ceremony programs for the Nagano Winter Olympic Games 1998. In 2001, he enrolled as a board member for the Japanese label MUJI and has considerably moulded the identity of this successful corporation as communication and design advisor ever since. Kenya Hara, alongside Naoto Fukasawa one of the leading design personalities in Japan, has also called attention to himself with exhibitions such as Re-Design: The Daily Products of the 21st Century of 2000.
Since the introduction of the personal computer in the early 1980s, many objects have been designed to have capabilities well beyond their immediate use or appearance. Whether openly and actively or in subtle, subliminal ways, these objects talk to us, and we have come to expect interaction with them. Contemporary designers, besides giving objects form and function, write their initial scripts--the foundation for useful and satisfying conversations. Talk to Me focuses on projects that involve such direct interaction--including interfaces, websites, video games, devices and tools, and information systems--as well as installations that establish practical, emotional, or even sensual connections to cities, companies, governmental institutions, or other individuals. The featured objects range in date from the late 1980s to today, with particular attention given to the last five years and projects currently in development. Organized thematically, Talk to Me introduces design practices that are increasingly crucial to our world and demonstrates how rich and deep the influence of design will be on our future.
A compelling defense for the importance of design and how it shapes our behavior, our emotions, and our lives.
Design has always prided itself on being relevant to the world it serves, but interest in design was once limited to a small community of design professionals. Today, books on “design thinking” are best sellers, and computer and Web-based tools have expanded the definition of who practices design. Looking at objects, letterforms, experiences, and even theatrical performances, award-winning author Jessica Helfand asserts that understanding design's purpose is more crucial than ever. Design is meaningful not because it is pretty but because it is an intrinsically humanist discipline, tethered to the very core of why we exist. For example, as designers collaborate with developing nations on everything from more affordable lawn mowers to cleaner drinking water, they must take into consideration the full range of a given community’s complex social needs. Advancing a conversation that is unfolding around the globe, Helfand offers an eye-opening look at how designed things make us feel as well as how—and why—they motivate our behavior.
The myth of innovation is that brilliant ideas leap fully formed from the minds of geniuses. The reality is that most innovations come from a process of rigorous examination through which great ideas are identified and developed before being realized as new offerings and capabilities.
This book introduces the idea of design thinking‚ the collaborative process by which the designer′s sensibilities and methods are employed to match people′s needs not only with what is technically feasible and a viable business strategy. In short‚ design thinking converts need into demand. It′s a human−centered approach to problem solving that helps people and organizations become more innovative and more creative.
Today designers often focus on making technology easy to use, sexy, and consumable. In Speculative Everything, Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby propose a kind of design that is used as a tool to create not only things but ideas. For them, design is a means of speculating about how things could be -- to imagine possible futures. This is not the usual sort of predicting or forecasting, spotting trends and extrapolating; these kinds of predictions have been proven wrong, again and again. Instead, Dunne and Raby pose "what if" questions that are intended to open debate and discussion about the kind of future people want (and do not want).
The first monograph, design manual, and manifesto by Michael Bierut, one of the world’s most renowned graphic designers—a career retrospective that showcases more than thirty-five of his most noteworthy projects for clients as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Yale School of Architecture, the New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the New York Jets, and reflects eclectic enthusiasm and accessibility that has been the hallmark of his career.
In this short book, Dan Hill outlines a new vocabulary of design, one that needs to be smuggled into the upper echelons of power. He asserts that, increasingly, effective design means engaging with the messy politics - the dark matter" - taking place above the designer's head."
Are there practical solutions to the many global challenges―climate change, poverty, insufficient healthcare―that threaten our way of life? Author John Thackara has spent a lifetime roving the globe in search of design that serves human needs. In this clear-eyed but ultimately optimistic book, he argues that, in our eagerness to find big technological solutions, we have all too often ignored the astonishing creativity generated when people work together and in harmony with the world around them.
This gorgeous, fully illustrated handbook tells the story of sketchnotes--why and how you can use them to capture your thinking visually, remember key information more clearly, and share what you've captured with others. Author Mike Rohde shows you how to incorporate sketchnoting techniques into your note-taking process--regardless of your artistic abilities--to help you better process the information that you are hearing and seeing through drawing, and to actually have fun taking notes.
Quirky, poignant, astute, funny—this beautiful book presents a compelling collection of observations on visual culture and design, written and illuminated by world-renowned typographic illustrator Marian Bantjes. In Stefan Sagmeister's telling words, Bantjes's work is his"favorite example of beauty facilitating the communication of meaning."
Some call it design for the greater good. Others call it social design. Whatever you call it, it's clear that an altruistic impulse is on the rise in the design community. The latest addition to our Design Briefs series, Designing for Social Change, is a compact, hands-on primer for graphic designers who want to use their unique problem-solving skills to help others. Author Andrew Shea presents ten proven strategies for working effectively with community organizations. These strategies can frame the design challenge and create a checklist to keep a project on track. Twenty case studies illustrate how design professionals and students approach unique challenges when working on a social agenda.
Everything is getting more complex. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information we encounter each day. Whether at work, at school, or in our personal endeavors, there’s a deepening (and inescapable) need for people to work with and understand information. Information architecture is the way that we arrange the parts of something to make it understandable as a whole. When we make things for others to use, the architecture of information that we choose greatly affects our ability to deliver our intended message to our users. We all face messes made of information and people. I define the word “mess” the same way that most dictionaries do: “A situation where the interactions between people and information are confusing or full of difficulties.” — Who doesn’t bump up against messes made of information and people every day? This book provides a seven step process for making sense of any mess. Each chapter contains a set of lessons as well as workbook exercises architected to help you to work through your own mess.
An indispensable and inspiring guide to creativity in the workplace and beyond, drawing on art, psychology, science, sports, law, business, and technology to help you land big ideas in the practical world.
Anyone from CEO to freelancer knows how hard it is to think big, let alone follow up, while under pressure to get things done. Art Thinking offers practical principles, inspiration, and a healthy dose of pragmatism to help you navigate the difficulties of balancing creative thinking with driving toward results.
The rise of experience design and service design is familiar to anyone involved in design practice. This shift from the design of artifacts to the design of intangible services and experiences calls for a new understanding of design's place in the world. If experience designers are unique in their ability to "design an experience," then understanding the nature of experience should be a priority. This book aims to build on our current understanding of experience design through the lens of phenomenology, a practical philosophy of human existence, interaction, and experience.
Donald A. Norman
First, businesses discovered quality as a key competitive edge; next came service. Now, Donald A. Norman, former Director of the Institute for Cognitive Science at the University of California, reveals how smart design is the new competitive frontier. The Design of Everyday Things is a powerful primer on how--and why--some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.
People spent the twentieth century obsessed with the future. We created technologies that would help connect us faster, gather news, map the planet, and compile knowledge. We strove for an instantaneous network where time and space could be compressed. Well, the future's arrived. We live in a continuous now enabled by Twitter, email, and a so-called real-time technological shift. Yet this "now" is an elusive goal that we can never quite reach. And the dissonance between our digital selves and our analog bodies has thrown us into a new state of anxiety: present shock.
Prototyping and user testing is the best way to create successful products, but many designers skip this important step and use gut instinct instead. By explaining the goals and methodologies behind prototyping—and demonstrating how to prototype for both physical and digital products—this practical guide helps beginning and intermediate designers become more comfortable with creating and testing prototypes early and often in the process.
Author Kathryn McElroy explains various prototyping methods, from fast and dirty to high fidelity and refined, and reveals ways to test your prototypes with users. You’ll gain valuable insights for improving your product, whether it’s a smartphone app or a new electronic gadget.
Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist
Fifty years after Marshall McLuhan's ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture in The Medium is the Massage, Basar, Coupland and Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that’s redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the 'extreme present'.
The Age of Earthquakes is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors offer five characteristics of the Extreme Present (see below); invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and ‘mindsource’ images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly’s striking graphic design imports the surreal, juxtaposed, mashed mannerisms of screen to page. It’s like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read.