Carola Zwick

Product/Industrial Designer; Interaction Designer / Germany / Studio 7.5; Weissensee Academy of Art, Berlin

Carola Zwick’s Book List

As a designer you are concerned with observing and understanding change and solving emerging needs and problems. In addition, your concepts and ideas as well as the change you hope to trigger with your design intervention need to be communicated clearly.

My list of recommendations (many of which I also came across through recommendations) is therefore focused on nonfiction titles. Most of these books have accompanied me for quite some time: they don’t seem to have lost their impact or their relevance. For me, as a product and interaction designer, at least some enduring truth is comforting.

10 books

My all-time favorite and recommendation for students on how to cope with complexity. Wurman also respects his own advice in providing an abstract of the complete book as the first chapter to serve as an “instant” version for impatient minds.

Robert Propst

Research paper from the inventor of the cubicle. Propst translates and applies patterns of urbanism to the interior.

Richard Sennett

This book describes the intrinsic reward gained from working “hands on” as well as the specific relationship between craftsmen and their tools, which in my view is a great inspiration for designers to create hardware and software that empower people.

Richard Florida

Although it is already ten years old, this book is helpful in recognizing and understanding the ongoing changes and shift in priorities occurring in society.

Marshall McLuhan
Quentin Fiore

This small paperback is the result of a typo at the printing house that McLuhan embraced and used to create a “reader’s digest” version of his “The Medium is the Message.” It uses visual means to support his idea that human artifacts serve as extensions of the human body and brain.

Christopher Alexander
Sara Ishikawa
Murray Silverstein

The “bible”: helps us understand how hardware is influencing software—in this case, how the built environment is shaping the behavior of its inhabitants.

Bill Moggridge

A comprehensive compilation on the history of interaction design by one of its key figures: Bill Moggridge.

Edward R. Tufte

Tufte’s carefully printed “trilogy”—which includes Envisioning Information and Visual Explanations—presents milestones of visual communication, like the greatest of all: Charles Josef Minard’s graphic representation of Napoleon’s March on Moscow.

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