Books Every Designer Should Read

4 Lists of Books Every Product Designer Should Read

Alberto Alessi, R. Craig Miller, Zoë Ryan, Alice Rawsthorn

November 12, 2013

Commentators Alberto Alessi, R. Craig Miller, Zoë Ryan, and Alice Rawsthorn give their recommendations for books that should be on the shelf of every product designer or product design enthusiast.

Alberto Alessi's Book List

My position is that a designer is—or should be—first a poet. For that reason the books I have listed refer to a wide spectrum of human activity. They can be especially helpful and interesting to read for almost all activities having to do with creating products (industrial products) in our society of consumption.

R. Craig Miller's Book List

In our global information age, we are besieged with a host of new media: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, not to mention the ubiquitous e-mail. Books are thus, at least for me, very much an antidote. They are beautiful. They are sensuous. They are filled with new discoveries. Perhaps most important, they are a transcendental respite, wherein one may think new thoughts and quietly reflect on one’s position in relation to the present as well as the past.

Zoë Ryan's Book List

As the field of design becomes ever more complex, reaching into increasingly diverse areas of practice, designers are arming themselves with an expanded toolbox of methodologies and approaches in an effort to create projects that defy traditional disciplinary boundaries and more effectively speak to contemporary modes of practice and ways of living.

Alice Rawsthorn's Book List

The toughest thing about choosing ten great books on product design was whittling down the long list. Product design may not have as erudite or provocative a critical culture as graphics or architecture, but it is so rich and complex a subject that it has inspired some wonderful books.

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