Book List of the Week

Five Industrial Designers and the Books That Inspire Them

November 24, 2014

This week we’re highlighting the books that have had an influence on five industrial designers. The designers are:  Tim Brown (CEO of IDEO), the late Niels DiffrientDan Formosa (Smart Design co-founder), Sam Hecht (Industrial Facility, London), and David Weeks.


Giant Cubebot lounger (shown with Cubebot robot toys), by David Weeks with Quinze & Milan at Tom Dixon’s MOST, Milan, Italy, 2012. Photo courtesy of David Weeks Studio


Tim Brown's Book List

Victor Papanek,  Donald Norman, George Orwell.

Niels Diffrient's Book List

Bernard Rudofsly, Henry Dreyfuss, Gyorgy Kepes.

Dan Formosa's Book List

I included some design and non-design books in my list. All of them have been influential, although for some books, direct connections may not be obvious.

Sam Hecht's Book List

I like books. In fact, I make a book for every project I do. I like the designers of books, too, because when they are successful, they make the book worth far more than the material it is on. Books that resonate with me most are ones that have little or no imagery. These are few and far between, because there seems to be too much imagery these days. I like to imagine what the writer is describing. Here are some of these books I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy.

David Weeks's Book List

When asked to make a list of my favorite books, these are the titles that immediately came to mind. Once completed, I realized there wasn’t a single design book on the list.

I’ve found that whether it’s a minor character in The World According to Garp who has halitosis and is described as “dying from the inside out” or Sartre’s description of finding his hand on a doorknob in Nausea, the fleeting imagery created from reading a well-written sentence is an act of design in itself.

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