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Design books to look out for

As the air cools and the nights draw in, is there a better time of year to curl up with a good book?

Whilst the relentless pursuit of knowledge is now far more lead by the digital realm, there are those amongst us who still enjoy a good, old-fashioned book. Browsing a bookshelf, turning pages, making notes, pausing to reflect – these are tactile pleasures that few tablets can afford. With this in mind we decided to review our own (bespoke, of course) bookshelves to bring together our preferred pick of publications about a subject that is perpetually close to our hearts: good design.

Some recently published, others classics to dust off from bookshelf, these design books might inspire, offer practical solutions or simply share insight in the creative process that impacts us all every single day…

The Design of Everyday Things | Don Norman

design-of-everyday-thingsOriginally published in 1988 by cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald Norman, ‘The Design of Everyday Things considers how design serves as the communication between object and user, and how to optimise that conduit of communication.

It examines good design’s basic principles alongside the psychopathology of everyday things, the complexity of modern design, human-centred design, and the fundamental principle of interaction in terms of product use.

This dissection of the cognitive aspects of design contains examples of both good and bad design and simple rules that designers can use to improve the usability of objects as diverse as cars, computers, doors, and telephones. After reading this you may never look at any man-made object in the same way again…

Design a Healthy Home | Oliver Heath

Design a Healthy Home

Inside the pages of this home decor book, Design a Healthy Home, you’ll discover how to detoxify your home by making small changes.

Using the latest evidence and research in well-being and Biophilic Design, Oliver Heath guides the reader through how to transform every space in your home to create a restorative and nurturing environment. Discover the many benefits of connecting to nature, maximising natural light, improving air quality, and a variety of methods to add colour, texture, and pattern to create spaces that improve relaxation, recuperation, social connections, and sleep.

Together with the research team at Oliver Heath Design, including sustainability expert Victoria Jackson, psychologist Eden Goode, and designer Jo Baston, Heath has devised each solution with easy implementation in mind. Clear chapters including Light, Sleep, Sound, Warmth and Air offer tried-and-tested practical solutions for improving your living space.

Spring Light The Anglepoise Story | Jonathan Glancey

Spring Light The Anglepoise Story

Spring Light shines a light on the design history of the famous Anglepoise lamp. Starting with the beginnings of the company with George Carwardine, the designer behind the lamp, the book takes you through an illuminating journey of the development and influence of this British icon.

Enchanting the world with its light-to-the-touch and anthropomorphic design, the unique and characterful form has adorned the worktables of everyone, from writers to engineers, from the Second World War through to the 21st century.  Today, the lamp is a sure sign of quality and has been hailed as a hallmark of British design.

This history of the little metal lamp explains why it feels like an extension of the human body. It details the fan club that includes everyone from Pablo Picasso to the Queen and Roald Dahl. Photographer David Bailey says that when he first bought himself a “mechanical giraffe”, it was the first time he’d thought about design.

Spring Light: The Anglepoise Story by Jonathan Glancey will be published on 26 October 2021.

Make to Know | Lorne M. Buchman

Make-to-knowThe pandemic has unsettled creatives the world over. But as art and design teacher and ArtCenter College of Design president Lorne M. Buchman explains in his new book, uncertainty is a deeply creative state to be in.

This journey through the minds of some of the most creative people on the planet reveals that creativity is rarely a “lightbulb moment” and instead arrives through a process of making and self-understanding

In Make to Know, Buchman uses direct interviews with artists and designers to make the point. Those involved include designers Yves Béhar and Paula Scher, architect Frank Gehry and director Zach Snyder – and each explores how the concept of uncertainty has helped them understand how the unknown can “be a place of creative discovery”.

Designer Maker User | The Design Museum

Designer Maker User | The Design MuseumDesigners, makers and users are the three essential participants in the creation of any kind of design. This is not limited to objects or buildings, but includes environments, systems and networks. Exploring these relationships enables us to understand how we shape the world and how it, in turn, shapes us.

Rather than present a conventional chronology, Designer Maker User focuses on the continuing interaction between the three key players – Designers, Makers and Users – and the role of design in modern society.

Featuring pivotal writings on design, a carefully-curated portfolio of design landmarks and a simple timeline charting the development of the modern design industry, Designer Maker User pushes beyond the walls of the museum, providing readers with an appreciation for the significance of design and its far-reaching impact on the world in which we live.

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Categories:Interiors & Lifestyle