Fast Company’s CoDesign blog writer Mark Wilson shares 35 design and creativity books that famed art schools – RISD, Pratt, Parsons, California College of the Arts, among others– say are must-reads. Whether you are a designer, student, would-be, or someone who hires design talent, these books are essential for your office bookshelf.
Seven top design schools were asked to each submit a list of five books they rank as must-reads in a wide range of fields, interior design, graphic design, industrial design and more.
Green News Update has selected six of the 35 as our favorites, with our links to reviews, essays or author interviews. The CoDesign blog article and full list is available here. Thank you Fast Company!
The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, Twyla Tharp with Mark Reiter. Considered by many the leading choreographer of the recent era, Tharp advises, “Being creative is not a once-in-a-while sort of thing. Being creative is an everyday thing, a job with its own routines.” She offers exercises to ramp up your creativity. Here’s access to one free chapter (Chapter 5) from the book
Drawing is Thinking, Milton Glaser, with Judith Thurman. Its 180 pages are full of drawings in a wide range of subjects– and no words. Glaser is one of my favorite designers who has has been a creative workhorse in the world of graphic design—posters, album cover, ads, restaurant design and more.
Milton Glaser web site essays
History of Modern Design, David Seth Raizman (2nd edition). Design is both a creative activity and enterprise. This tome (at 577 pp) looks at supply, demand and consumption from 1700 to post WW II. It covers decorative arts, graphic and industrial design, including Arts and Crafts movement, design after the Great War, and the flowering of mass culture and consumption post-World War II.
The New Basics, Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips.
Graphic design from point, line and plane to grid, pattern, modularity and more. It’s all here, with plenty to offer the design student and the practitioner. Ellen Lupton is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City and director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. Download the book (for free)
Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Peter Hall and Pentagram partner Michael Bierut, with contributions by Kurt Andersen, Paola Antonelli, David Byrne, Jay Chiat, Steven Heller and others. Hungarian émigré Kalman (b. 1949) managed to pack a lot of brilliant graphic design into his career after dropping out of NYU and before his untimely death at age 50. His client roster included the Limited, the Talking Heads, Interview Magazine, Benetton, and as founder of his own design firm M&Co. This book is an oversized title in color, full of his musings, products, stills and more. Check Amazon for used and new copies (it’s still in print). Ebook is available
Humble Masterpieces: 100 Everyday Marvels of Design. Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design as well as the Director of R&D at The Museum of Modern Art , Paola Antonelli selects 100 inspired pieces of design brilliance, many of them small and low in price – from M&M’s to Scotch tape and Legos. Antonelli’s TED talk in 2007.
Come back for more! Books, that is. We are assembling a diverse selection – photography, architecture, natural history-– that will keep you reading through the fall!