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Paperback Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change Book

ISBN: 0897331532

ISBN13: 9780897331531

Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change

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Book Overview

Design for the Real Worm has, since its first appearance twenty years ago, become a classic. Translated into twenty-three languages, it is one of the world's most widely read books on design. In this... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An inspiring book on environmental design

I first heard a lecture by Victor Papanek about 20 years ago, shortly before this revised edition was released. He was a very impressive speaker, drawing from a seemingly bottomless well of ecological design ideas. His work has taken him far and wide and in the process allowed him to revamp many of his views on environmental design. This book is an extensively updated version of his seminal book on the subject. It has become a bit dated in the 20 years since its release, especially in regard to computer software design. But, most of the material he covers is still relavent to the present, as we have only begun to scratch the surface of sound ecological ideas.Having read the more recent books on ecological design by Sim Van Der Ryn and William McDonough, I was surprised to see that neither mentioned Papanek, who prefigured many of the ideas they present in their current books. Papanek long ago advocated the lease/use principle, which makes much more sense in a rapidly changing technological world than does the buy/own principle that continues to dominate our social thinking. Papanek notes the many cultural and psychological blocks we have created for ourselves when it comes to ecological design, but also illustrates how we can overcome these blocks with methods such as bisociation, first proposed by Arthur Koestler. But, what really makes this book stand out are the great number of illustrations that Papanek uses to demonstrate his ideas. This is one of the most practical books written on environmental design.While Papanek was an industrial designer, his ideas are equally germaine to the field of architecture and biology. He advocated a multi-disciplinary approach, feeling that our universities had become too compartimentalized and were stifling creativity, which needs cross-pollination in order to thrive. The book is as inpiring as his lectures. Papanek challenges the reader to explore new avenues, not continue to follow the status quo, which only results in creative dead-ends.

The Design Bible, Even for Architects

I first spotted this book while studying in Denmark last year, where my host parents had studied under Victor Papanek. I would have studied under him at the University of Kansas, if not for his untimely and unfortunate passing. This book is one of the best books on the principles and ethics of design. It illustrates both the designer's responsibility and the potential to affect real change in the world through design. This most renowned of works by Papanek focuses on industrial design in two parts: How It Is, and How It Could Be. Papanek encourages radical thinking in design, and most of the topics in the book are easily translated to architecture. To my knowledge, reading this book has never been a required part of the core curriculum at the School of Architecture and Urban Design here at KU, but in my opinion, it should be.

Victor Papanek passes away, January 10, 1998

I have just read about V.Papanek's recent death. I can't believe I wrote my past comment just 4 days before his death. I feel very moved, it's a big loss for the design world. I am copying here what the IDSA wrote about him: Victor Papanek Passes Away (1926-1998) Internationally renowned designer, professor and mentor Victor Papanek, IDSA, passed away at age 72 on January 10. His health had been failing him for the past three years. Papanek was widely admired for his advocacy of socially responsible design. He once summed up his chosen field this way: "The only important thing about design is how it relates to people." In remembering Papanek, Honorary IDSA member Ralph Caplan, remarked that "He was the first industrial designer to really begin to talk critically about design as a force for good and suggesting that, conventionally design wasn't necessarily that." Papanek was the J.L. Constant Professor of Architecture and Design at the University of Kansas since 1981 and was author of eight books on design. In his revolutionary and best-selling Design for the Real World, first published in 1971, and since translated into 23 languages, Papanek suggested something both startling and prophetic: the necessity for designers to adopt a morally responsible and holistic approach, adapting technology to the individual's real needs and tapping into the wisdom and experience of other societies, particularly those of the Third World. He traveled around the world giving lectures about his ideas on ecologically sound designs to serve the poor, the disabled and the elderly. He was closely connected with folk art and crafts and studied Oriental, Eskimo and American Indian cultures to better understand basic human needs and their relationship to design. "All designed tools and objects are sort of extensions of human abilities, and they do tend to make life richer for us," Papanek told the Kansas City Star in an interview in 1994. But, he added, "an awful lot of designs, especially in this country, make life a lot more inconvenient. I'm thinking, for instance, of high-fidelity units that have so many switches and toggles and buttons and things that they confuse most people. Papanek was born in Vienna, Austria, and went to public schools in England. He studied design and architecture at the Cooper Union in New York City and did postgraduate studies in design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He taught at many different institutions including the Ontario College of Art and the Royal Academy of Architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before joining the KU faculty, he headed the design departments at the Kansas City Art Institute and the California Institute of Arts. He received numerous awards and honors, such as a Distinguished Designer Fellowship from the NEA and the UN (UNESCO) Award for Outstanding Design of Developing Nations. He created products for such organizations as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and for the W

Finally becoming as important as it should've since 1977

I read it first before studying industrial design. Then read bits of it every semester of study. Now, a professional, I was thrilled when I found the new edition. I've always thought the world needs to work more like Papanek proposes, and actually, I think now people are becoming a lot more aware of the issues raised here. Papanek's predictions or ideals are happening: In ecology, social work, and ethics. I admire this author, and it's all because of this book, to start with.

Wonderful radical prodding for designers of all disciplines.

While this book covers the larger focus of industrial design, its message is important for all designers. It proposes the "radical" idea that designers should become aware of the social context of their work. This is such a special gem, I can't do any better describing it than its own Table of Contents: Part One: How It Is 1. What is Design?: A Definition of the Function Complex 2. Phylogenocide: A History of the Industrial Design Profession 3. The Myth of the Noble Slob: Design, "Art", and the Crafts 4. Do-It-Yourself Murder: Social and Moral Responsibilities of Design 5. Our Kleenex Culture: Obsolecence and Value 6. Snake Oil and Thalidomide: Mass Leisure and Phoney Fads Part Two: How It Could Be 7. Rebel With a Cause: Invention and Innovation 8. The Tree of Knowledge: Biological Prototypes in Design 9. Design Responsibility: Five Myths and Six Directions 10. Environmental Design: Pollution, Crowding, Ecology 11. The Neon Blackboard: Design Education and Design Teams 12. Design for Survival and Survival Through Design: A Summation
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