E. H. (Ernst) Gombrich
Phaidon Press, London, 1984 (2nd edition); originally published 1979, English
Nonfiction, Art and Cultural History
ISBN: 9780714822600

A comprehensive survey of the history and theory of decorative art. Gombrich writes that the universal human impulse to seek order and rhythm in space and time can be seen in children's play and in poetry, dance, music, and architecture, and its prevalence in our every activity calls for an explanation in terms of our biological heritage. (Ninth volume of the Wrightsman lectures, delivered annually under the auspices of the New York University Institute of Fine Arts.)

On 2 book lists
Ed Ng

Anthology of how humans perceive design, how we look at design and put it in a logical perspective, from one of the greatest thinkers in this area. It is about the challenges and constraints, and also the fundamentals, of philosophy in design.

Calvin Tsao

Gombrich believed (as do I) that in our search for meaning humans find satisfaction in discovering predictable patterns, and in communicating them through decoration. This book is both an encyclopedic review of pattern making through history and a serious attempt to reveal the underlying universal truths found in patterns.

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