The value of reading design books gives you insight into important topics such as ergonomics, materials, the visual language of form and so on. The books that are in this section are books that I’ve read and have found value and I think you would too. Take a look at these recommended reads to further amplify your design abilities. More books are always being added!

Theory – Books that steer the why.

      • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

        A book about a person’s journey of discovery of quality with a heavy focus on the journey itself. Written by Robert Pirsig. You can get your copy here.

      • To Engineer is Human

        Using various anecdotes of structural engineering, Henry Petroski takes us through the values of learning from our mistakes and how they guide our design decisions. Get your copy here.

      • Shaping Things

        A somewhat surreal set of insights for designers and thinkers, engineers and scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers; and anyone who wants to understand and be part of the process of technosocial transformation. Get your copy here.

      • Design Paradigms

        Henry Petroski relates stories of some of the greatest engineering successes and failures of all time. Get your copy here.

  • The Unfettered Mind

    Written by the seventeenth-century Zen master Takuan Soho (1573–1645), The Unfettered Mind is a book of advice on swordsmanship and the cultivation of right mind and intention. It was written as a guide for the samurai Yagyu Munenori, who was a great swordsman and rival to the legendary Miyamoto Musashi. I recommend this to all designers. Get your copy here.

  • The Function of Form

    In The Function of Form, internationally acclaimed architect, Farshid Moussavi, provides a provocative critique of the historically opposing relationship between function and form to reveal the contradiction at the heart of modernism. Get your copy here.

Application – Books that steer the how.

      • Rapid Viz

        Kurt Hanks and Larry Belliston have dissected the drawing process down to a simple step by step to create a sense of “visual dialog” with the audience. Help yourself become better with this amazing book here.

      • Designing Interactions

        Designers of digital technology products no longer regard their job as designing a physical object — beautiful or utilitarian — but as designing our interactions with it. In Designing Interactions, award-winning designer Bill Moggridge introduces us to 40 influential designers who’ve shaped our interaction with technology. Get your copy here.

      • Visual Explanations

        Edward Tufte describes design strategies – the proper arrangement in space and time of images, words, and numbers – for presenting information about motion, process, mechanism, cause, and effect. Examines the logic of depicting quantitative evidence. Get your copy here.

      • Up cycle!

        Up-Cycle! by Narelle Yabuka features more than 100 up-cycled solutions to design scenarios of every type which completely reinvent a wide array of materials and re-channel their basic qualities into inspired new projects from furniture to outdoor installations to clothing. Get your copy here.

  • Materials and Design

    This renowned book by noted materials engineering author Mike Ashby and industrial designer Kara Johnson explores the role of materials and materials processing in product design, with a particular emphasis on creating both desired aesthetics and functionality. Get your copy here.

  • Process Materials Measurements

    In the world of product design, thousands of small bits of must-know information are scattered across a wide array of places. This book collects all the crucial information designers need to know on a daily basis and organizes it in one neat essential handbook. Get your copy here.

Design in Business – Books that help the relation between design and business.

  • Success by Design

    This book by David Sherwin will help you become a stronger business person and better plan your career path as a design leader. This book was born from in-depth interviews with a slew of professionals across a wide range of creative industries. Get your copy here.

  • Steve Jobs

    Steve Jobs’ tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values. Get your copy here.

  • The Deviant’s Advantage

    Ryan Mathews and Watts Wacker suggest that tomorrow’s breakthrough concept is lurking out there right now, in the mind of a deviant individual. Your choice is simple: find it and exploit it, or be buried by those who do. Get your copy here.

This list is always updating as more and more books are reviewed over on our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages!

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