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Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change

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Design for the Real World has, since its first appearance twenty-five 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 edition, Victor Papanek examines the attempts by designers to combat the tawdry, the unsafe, the frivolous, the useless product, once again providing a blueprint for sensible, responsible design in this world which is deficient in resources and energy.

416 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1972

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Victor Papanek

11 books41 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 120 reviews
Profile Image for Matt McLean.
23 reviews6 followers
July 29, 2011
There are some excellent insights in this book, especially regarding the power of and need for collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams to solve design problems facing the world, but I found Victor's tone a bit combative and I didn't particularly enjoy slogging through an excess of examples of poor design. Even so, I found myself agreeing with him wholeheartedly regarding the role of education in the lives of young designers, as well as the missive to avoid specialization.

The book is a product of its time (1971), which makes it feel dated, but Papanek's call for designers to be world citizens and always mindful of the useful contributions of their work is timeless.
Profile Image for John.
282 reviews20 followers
January 7, 2017
What are we to make of the fact that this book, itself a designed object, written with the methodological assistance of a flow chart process, with a direct intention to fill in a clear gap in socially-aware industrial design, is a mess with abrupt shifts in topic and sudden returns to a well-worn discussions? Wouldn't such a presentation engender the criticism that presenting something so clearly important to the writer in such a way lead to undermining that very content with the dismissal that it is the product of sloppy thinking, or is this concern a fallacy that fails to address the facts of the book?

There are a lot of good things in this book, from critical facts about important problems to any number of design projects with the potential to do real good. There are even a few helpful techniques and methodological suggestions. The reader is given a certain kind of compendium or reference interesting developments, say in bionic (or, in our language, biomimickry) approaches and promises. However, while each paragraph presents its point with clarity and forcefulness, there is no usable infrastructure behind the ideas of this book, itself retaining the form of decades-long brainstorming session.

To be fair, I may be placing the reading demands of a certain time, place, or culture upon the book. In some ways, a current design education inherits the positive legacy of this book without the negative, able to unabashedly work on social problems with the kind of presentation we now expect. Yet, I wonder if we've also inherited the negative tradition, letting a certain bite, vigor, or passion substitute for a synthesis that actually synthesizes. The error of presenting the raw functionality, but not the form or empathy that really allows people to use it, though heartily complained of, is to my mind what this book eventually suffers.
2,285 reviews33 followers
December 8, 2021

“There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a very few of them. And possibly only one profession is phonier. Advertising design, in persuading people to buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, in order to impress others who don’t care.”

First published half a century ago back in 1971, and reprinted and updated a few times since then this book still carries the weight of authority and maintains a largely relevant voice today. This man doesn’t suffer fools gladly or indulge the worst excesses of the creative world and he has plenty to say about plenty of issues.

As well as ideas around the design world, we also get time for other side stories thrown into the mix, apparently in Galician and Polish backwaters of the old Austro-Hungarian empire village pharmacists did a brisk trade in male model photographs, at the outbreak of WWI. They were given four options, one of a clean shaven man, another with a moustache, a third with a full beard, whilst a fourth had a beard and a moustache. A young man called up for military service bought one which most closely resembled his own face and then presented it to his wife or sweetheart to remember him by, before he went off to fight in the war.

“A whole elitist nostalgia craze has elevated some of the most uncomfortable seating arrangements yet devised by man into trendy and expensive status symbols that lie halfway between refined torture racks and “art objects.” The chairs are enormously expensive, unspeakably uncomfortable, and the movement affects only small bored cliques in New York, Milan or Paris.”

Papanek seeks out design based solutions to a vast catalogue of flaws and failings with so many everyday machines that we engage with as part of day to day life. It’s interesting because Papanek’s ability to think outside the box and examine the problems of the everyday, we soon begin to look at the world in a different way too.

“The cancerous growth of the creative individual expressing himself egocentrically at the expense of spectator and/or consumer has spread from the arts, overrun most of the crafts, and finally reached into design. No longer does the artist, craftsman, or in some cases the designer operate with the good of the consumer in mind; rather, many creative statements have become highly individualistic, autotherapeutic little comments by the artist to himself.”

Granted much of the commentary and beliefs surrounding computer technology is so dated as to be laughably quaint, but still the underlying points behind his concerns still ring true. He also raises some hugely important concerns regarding public safety with automobiles (along with the likes of Ralph Nader). He talks about the US car makers explaining to congress committees why they can’t meet basic safety laws and how the major players of that same industry colluded for so long to not introduce pollution measures as well.

“With new processes and an endless list of new materials at his disposal, the artist, craftsman, and designer now suffer from the tyranny of absolute choice. When everything becomes possible, when all the limitations are gone, design and art can easily become a never ending search for novelty, until newness for the sake of newness becomes the only measure.”

Then there’s his concerns about the many dangerous chemicals being transported by poorly designed equipment, lack of regulation, and of course not forgetting - far too much greed and selfishness. Elsewhere he discusses challenging the effectiveness of safety goggles, hard hats and steel toe capped boots and many other items which are not quite as "safe" as the manufacturers would have us believe.

This book is creative, political and polemical and a real pleasure to get into, Papanek reaches into so many compelling and worthwhile areas, his problem solving skills make otherwise difficult or seemingly insurmountable issues appear simple or clear and that is a huge talent that cannot be ignored. The writing in here is clear, direct and engaging and it’s easy to see why this book remains so popular all of these years later.
Profile Image for Jess.
71 reviews64 followers
January 27, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I did not expect such a dense volume and such thoughtful discourse on the power of design.

Until I read the book, I didn’t realize it was originally published in the 1970’s and last revised in 1984. I also didn’t realize the author, Victor Papanek, is deceased. Many design professionals have recommended this book to me. It’s the first book designers often think of when you ask them for resources about design and ethics. So I assumed it was published much more recently.

Papanek shared his holistic view of design throughout the book. He argues that all people are designers. “All that we do, almost all the time, is design is basic to all human activity.”

Most of the design Papanek addresses in the book is industrial design. UX design wasn’t a thing (at least by name) until years after the second edition was published.

Some of the examples Papanek uses in the book are charmingly vintage. I chuckled a few times when he talked about computers and the technological advances he anticipated after 1984.

But what matters is that the principles of the book are timeless.

I appreciated some of the examples he shared that are no longer an issue in many parts of the world, such as auto safety. US auto safety regulations were not widespread until around the time the book was published.

By reading the book, I learned that major automakers resisted the demands for safer cars up until the 1970’s. Automakers claimed that designing safer cars would be too costly and put them out of business. Thankfully, they’ve been proven wrong, and auto safety is now a priority.

Papanek writes extensively about how design and the environment (what we now refer to as climate change). He argues that while design can have profound, negative consequences on the earth and humanity, instead, we can harness the power of design and use it to improve the world around us. “Design can and must become a way in which young people can participate in changing society.”

Lastly, this book inspired me to learn as much about the world around me as possible. Papanek was a true Polymath—he connected concepts from multiple disciplines to create new design solutions. He knew many things about earth science, history, and architecture, and he used that knowledge in his work.

Despite its age, the book holds up well. Many themes in the book are still in our discourse today.

I expected to gain an understanding of design ethics from this book. It reached me in many more ways. I highly recommend the book if you work in the design field in any capacity.
Profile Image for James.
3,429 reviews20 followers
October 15, 2015
If you want to design products, this book is a five. It's a bit dated in spots, but the author is dead so updates are tough. Many of the same issues still face us, crappy, wasteful buildings, poorly planned urban areas and shoddy consumer products along with the corporate apologists for this mess.

Includes how to design thoughts and methods as well as old news.
35 reviews
August 3, 2016
Thought provoking and often impassioned but chapters can meander. The main thread of a chapter can get lost amid examples, asides etc. and finishing individual chapters was daunting because material seemed arbitrary at times. Many chapters, however, have snappy attacks on design/industrial design; every now and then there are great frameworks or explanations about design values that might stick with you long after reading.

Most of the ideas here are surprisingly prescient and jive well with humanist/humanitarian/life affirming design. The argument for designing for impoverished or under-advantages groups is repeatedly made in a wide range of examples and ways, but the underlying defense of this perspective is underdeveloped and frequently iterated. If you have drunk the kool-aid like I have, it can get a bit didactic but still leave a big impression. If your values don't line up with this worldview, Papanek's at times confrontational tone will put you on the defensive rather than persuade. Then again, perhaps his matter of fact outrage is something we could use more of, and as an intelligent call to action for those in the field, the book succeeds in that regard. What designers should do as professionals can seem daunting and difficult to reconcile with our workaday lives, but as designers that is, perhaps, exactly what we should be tackling.

A final note: being written in 1984, there's some interesting, non-politically correct language when it comes to how Papanek refers to the mentally handicapped, developing nations, etc. . This is all acknowledged in the foreword, and I appreciate both the warning and leaving the flawed language as an indication of the times. Even with the best of intentions and liberalist worldview, the book is a product of it's era, as we all are products of our own. I'm sure I'll read this review one day and cringe at the terms I chose for this paragraph. Even so, it was sometimes jarring.
Profile Image for Barbara Emanuel.
8 reviews2 followers
November 16, 2010
"first-world" designers teaching poor "third-world" designers how to think/design... good luck to the "first-world" people who read this book and believe this is the current design reality in the world...
Profile Image for Tom Sussex.
32 reviews12 followers
June 25, 2019
The more old books I read the more you realise humanity never changes. We will always face the same problems we were facing 50 years ago when this book was written!

Still, Victor speaks with a great deal of insight as he looks to the future of design and the way forward. When he's not going on an endless rant at poorly designed product (which can make this book rather tedious and long at points) he offers a radical and alternative way of designing products.

He ends the book with this quote, which reflects his rather odd mix of cynical optimism:

"Design, if it is to be ecologically responsible and socially responsive, must be revolutionary and radical... That means consuming less, using things longer, recycling materials, and probably not wasting paper printing books such as this."
Profile Image for Alan Tsuei.
325 reviews19 followers
August 4, 2022
Profile Image for Shreyas.
11 reviews63 followers
January 22, 2017
Very enlightening design book. This book covers the very fundamental of design, as to what design should do and what roads it could pave. You are reminded of the intensely wielding power that industrial design possesses. A quote that has struck me still, after reading this book, is that unlike other fields, designers try to create new problems so that they could construct their own elegant solution towards it.

This reminds me of the fingerprint lock for mobile phones. Nobody actually wanted fingerprint locks for mobile phones when they had number digit locks, there was no necessity, however, a need for this feature was created.

The book continues along this line and explores a wide range of topics. I have noted down several ideas from this book from which I could continue to make meaningful product design ideas. He also covers topics from bionics and biomimetics, which needs to pondered upon more deeply. I am planning to read it again hopefully.
Profile Image for Shawna.
48 reviews
September 1, 2009
This is a must-read, not just for designers, but for anyone in a creative field. A call for ethics and pride of what you put out in the world. Something I've always admired about science (wrestling with responsibility), but hadn't seen in my field. Well, here it is.

The only drawback is that it was last updated in the 80s and so doesn't talk specifically about web design (focused more on physical product design). If anyone knows of a good "updated" design book that talks about human ecology and social change for design in the internet age I'd love to hear about it.
Profile Image for Lee.
159 reviews
June 17, 2017
Very bold thesis statement! Designers have a strong professional and even moral obligation to create items that are functional, aesthetic and well made (points for ecological sensitivity, too). They should not contribute to mindless consumerism through overbuilding or churning out endless variations of the same essential product. Wonderful sentiments indeed.
Profile Image for Christian.
99 reviews18 followers
April 24, 2022
Papanek was such a necessary voice for design; he kept designers accountable. I wish I had read this in grad school though I can sense his influence in a lot of what my professors challenged us to think about. It’s frustrating that much of the problems he lays out in this book from the 70s are still prevalent today.

As I’ve moved from design into growth, I think one of the biggest issues doesn’t lie in the field of design itself but rather in the business functions that drive revenue and profit margins. Everything Papanek writes makes perfect sense as it pertains to things like obsolescence, quality, and accessibility but much of the market forces are outside designers’ control. If there’s one criticism I have of his perspective, it’s that he overestimates the power designers have to fix these problems.

Nonetheless it was a good refresher for me and maybe even inspiring to think about how I can influence better design practice in a business-oriented role.
Profile Image for Laura.
29 reviews
December 20, 2022
pues resulta que el diseño es bastante movida. he aprendido mazo con este libro, supongo que para gente que esté más metida en el campo será más interesante y accesible que para mí que me he visto un poco perdida o sobrepasada con los datos a ratos pero estoy muy contenta de haberlo terminado. me parece superinteresante ver como el diseño afecta a campos en los que ni siquiera había pensado, y creo que me va a ha ayudar a tener en cuenta a mi peñita diseñadora en el futuro y al diseño en general también en el presente.
Profile Image for Matej yangwao.
167 reviews6 followers
September 28, 2022
Book helps you understand how design works in the real world :)

Will finish later, someone had to go pee in the morning

>Design is the conscious and intuitive effort to impose meaningful order.

>In the early 90s, designs were solely built for aesthetic and stylish purposes.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for T.
240 reviews
June 22, 2020
Interesting look at sustainability, consumption and the relationship of product/things and design.
Profile Image for Celia Payne.
38 reviews
February 6, 2022
Book: Design errors can cause damage to life and society.
Example: Plastics. More specifically, the lack of a plan / means to manage the waste generated from plastics.

Book: The effects of pollution caused by misdesign put the wold at risk.

Book: Integrated designers have the power to change the world as long as their primary focus is NOT profit - making.

Summary: C'mon humans! Think before you act!
3 reviews
March 23, 2021
Read this as a teenager (19).

Missed it so much over the years.

Finally took the time to reread it.

I found it fabulous.
Profile Image for Ola.
130 reviews55 followers
March 19, 2015

"Zgodnie z oświadczeniem rzecznika z Detroit z 1971 roku przedni zderzak, który działałby przy prędkości 15 km/h, podwyższyłby cenę każdego samochodu o 500 dolarów i, co jest jeszcze bardziej zniechęcające, jego opracowanie miałoby potrwać od trzech do pięciu lat. By wykazać fałszywość tego twierdzenia skorzystałem z dwóch półek na książki o szerokości 30cm i długości 215cm. Między półkami umieściłem blisko osiemdziesiąt pustych puszek po piwie, tworząc coś w rodzaju ogromnego sandwicza w którym półki zastąpiły chleb, a puszki po piwie – pastrami. Przymocowałem puszki do półek, a potem całe to błazeńskie ustrojstwo do przedniego zderzaka mojego samochodu, po czym z prędkością 20km/h wjechałem w narożnik siedziby senatu."

Facetem, który to wszystko zrobił był Viktor Papanek.

Lektura „Dizajnu dla realnego świata” wprowadziła mnie w stan przekraczającego wszelkie granice entuzjazmu i po prawdzie nie mam zupełnie nastroju do konstruowania zwykłych zdań, o nie. Wydobywałabym z siebie najchętniej różne wykrzykniki typu: Ojej! Ach! O rany! Obawiam się jednak, że niewiele by one powiedziały ewentualnym zainteresowanym, a i sceptyków pozostawiły obojętnymi (czego bardzo nie chcę), w związku z czym oto konkrety.

Na 360 stronach* książki zmieścił się cały ładunek papankowej bezpretensjonalności, multum prostych recept na trudne problemy, nowatorskich metod wspomagających twórcze myślenie i opowieści o różnych rodzajach utrudniających pracę dizajnera blokad. Ale to nie wszystko. Żadna książka o projektowaniu nie mogłaby się obyć bez pozytywnych przykładów, a tych w „Dizajnie” jest bardzo wiele. Zachwycające fotele relaksacyjne dla tancerzy, krzesła z podłużnym otworem w miejscu, w którym zwykle lądują nasze kręgosłupy, dzięki czemu ciężar ciała opiera się na miękkiej tkance tłuszczowej pleców, nie ugniatając wystających kręgów (pomyślcie o nich ciepło, wiercąc się na plastikowych siedzeniach komunikacji zbiorowej), napędzane siłą mięśni pojazdy, przeznaczone dla krajów Trzeciego Świata – nieawaryjne, nadające się do transportu rannych, towarów, do łączenia w łańcuchy, do względnie łatwego pokonywania wzniesień nawet przy pełnym obciążeniu. Można by wymieniać bez końca. Człowiek o tak wielkim poczuciu humoru, jak Victor Papanek, nie mógł jednak zostawić wszystkich tych tanich i solidnych rozwiązań bez złośliwego komentarza – znajdujemy się przecież w kapitalistycznej Ameryce. Otóż i komentarz: wycięta z gazety reklama podgrzewanego podnóżka w stylu królowej Anny, do tego oferta sprzedaży plastikowej dziewczyny, przypominającej nieco znane nam dmuchane lale. Przemierzając tekst książki natknąć się można na kolejne absurdalne przedmioty, a poza tym poczytać o trudnościach, piętrzonych przed Autorem, gdy ten usiłował spopularyzować odpowiedzialny społecznie i ekologicznie dizajn w miejsce bezsensownego projektowania opartego na chęci zysku. Papanek bez przerwy wyraża swój absolutny brak tolerancji dla rynku głuchego na realne potrzeby, traktującego ludzi jak małpy, którym w cenie złota wcisnąć można dowolną ilość tombaku. Nie ma miejsca na nonszalanckie zużywanie zasobów, na brak troski o środowisko, na niewłaściwą utylizację odpadów, na rzeczy źle pomyślane. Brzmi to bardzo współcześnie, prawda?

A teraz niespodzianka: „Dizajn” pisany był w latach 1963-70, na półki sklepowe trafił zaś w 1971. Mało tego – za datą wydania przemawiają właściwie tylko jakość fotografii i fryzury modeli oraz modelek, pojawiających się na niektórych ilustracjach. Skala pionierstwa Amerykanina jest porażająca; ta książka to bomba i nie wyobrażam sobie, by kiedykolwiek miała przestać wybuchać.

Przykre jest dla mnie wracanie myślą do przełomu lat 60. i 70., kiedy "Design For the Real World" odrzucali kolejni wydawcy, tłumacząc decyzję stosowaniem przez autora pojęć tak mało znanych, jak ekologia, etologia, czy Trzeci Świat.

I śmieszno, i straszno.

*Trochę kłamię, ponieważ 35 wieńczących dzieło kartek to odautorska bibliografia oraz indeks. Ale co tam.
Profile Image for Peter O'Brien.
171 reviews7 followers
October 19, 2018
"All men are designers. All that we do, almost all the time, is design, for design is basic to all human activity. The planning and patterning of any act towards a desired, foreseeable end constitutes the design process. Any attempt to separate design, to make it a thing-by-itself, works counter to the inherent value of design as the primary underlying matrix of life. Design is composing an epic poem, executing a mural, painting a masterpiece, writing a concerto. But design is also cleaning and reorganizing a desk drawer, pulling an impacted tooth, baking an apple pie, choosing sides for a back-lot baseball game, and educating a child. Design is the conscious effort to impose meaningful order." - page 17

Design thinking starts here. Design for the Real World was an interesting and knowledgeable read that has lost a lot of its original value, as most of the environmental and design subjects discuss therein are common knowledge and practice today (although, they could still be more so), but at the time of its original publication it would have been a trailblazing read... and the fact that the design concepts it advocates are now commonplace today, in the form of design thinking, demonstrates that the book has achieved its goal.

However, reading Design for the Real World now is still a valid reminder of how much work is still yet to be done to design a sustainable environmental that all human beings can thrive in that also maintains the equilibrium of the natural world.
Profile Image for Sherry Wu.
1 review7 followers
January 25, 2018
“Having experienced real design work, the designer will forever after feel a little ashamed when he designs a pretty, sexy toaster.” ——Victor Papanek, Design for the Real World

Design for the Real World is one of the world’s most widely read books on design. In this book, Victor Papanek denounced marketing-driven design (e.g. obsolescence) and exposed a set of issues by irresponsible design - tawdry, frivolous, useless, unsafe, waste, pollution.

In the 2nd half of the book, he claimed that design should be Integrated. Design must focus on human and humane factors. Design must place the problem in its social perspective. Design must consider social groups, classes and societies. A designer should be a generalist instead of a specialist.

Additionally, he discussed innovation thinking and advocated that a design team should be cross-functional to attempt Integrated Design. This could be viewed as the origin of Design Thinking.

After all, design must be social and moral responsible.
Profile Image for Christopher Nilssen.
Author 3 books2 followers
October 31, 2017
A kind of terrifying read once you get through it and realize that, while some things have improved, many of the most toxic elements that Papanek rails against have gotten significantly worse.

One of the recommended reads for “Human-Computer Interaction”, though would be worthwhile for any designer to at least leaf through.

In the end, the utopian ideal of designers being able to refuse work they found morally objectionable is a good one, but like most utopian ideals lives much more easily in dreams than reality.
Profile Image for Jacquie Shaw.
4 reviews1 follower
September 18, 2017
The whole time reading this book I kept wondering why it hadn't been presented to me during my time at design school. This is a fantastic read that touches on ethical and inclusive design.

Though written in the 70's I found so much of Papanek's criticism of the practice of design still — very much unfortunately — relevant.

Though some language I found was outdated in parts (I did though read an older edition I found in a second hand store)
12 reviews13 followers
January 18, 2008
This is the book that sent me to design school. The first page is a deadly attack on industrial design as the worst profession in the world (second only to advertising). The rest of the book is filled with hope for the potentials that design can have in shaping the world in new, positive, directions.
Profile Image for Alana.
3 reviews39 followers
October 14, 2014
Great points made regarding responsibilities as designers and makers. A down right feisty read as it starts out with: "There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a few of them." Which is a call to action to challenge how and what we design.

One of my favorite lines: "The only important thing about design is how it relates to people."
Profile Image for Samuel Oktavianus.
274 reviews4 followers
January 18, 2020
Design For The Real World is a book on how to design responsibly—I should elaborate on this later, but let's talk about a little background for now. This book was originally published in the 70s. Despite the fact that this is an old book, the main principles Papanek talked about still remains the same. Viktor Papanek was an Austrian-American designer who worked abroad in many third world countries. While he worked there, he helped to design many useful tools for poor, illiterate, disabled people. He was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and also worked for UNESCO & WHO, so I assume he knows what he's talking about.

The main point in the book is about designing responsibly. This applies to all people who worked in all design branches: product designer, urban designer, graphic designer, architect. It's also a critique of "irresponsible/bad" design if you want to see it that way. Papanek wrote the book based on sociological, psychological, ecological, political, and cultural point of view. One example is how to properly design for the disabled, the elderly, and children.

I like that he's bringing awareness and everything, and even some of the problems still resonate until today. Papanek offers interesting theory and he put lots of emphasis on functionality. In the end, it's really a morality problem and some of us don't even care as long as we get paid.

The writing/criticism might seem a little arrogant for some people. I know this is an old book, but sometimes I just lost focus on what he's talking about. The book contained broad topics compressed in just 350 pages, which is insane.

To sum this up, Design For The Real World might not be for everyone. The writing's really outdated but still understandable. This book could be a useful reference for design students or teachers. It's for designers who are hungry and curious about how to design responsibly.

Profile Image for Simon Vandereecken.
Author 2 books51 followers
August 10, 2022
"Le design aura son mot à dire lorsque l'homme ira s'établir au fond de l'océan ou sur des planètes lointaines. Mais l'un et l'autre voyage dépendent pour une lourde part de l'environnement créé ici et maintenant.

Lorsque des jeunes gens sont plus capables de construire un casino sur la planète Mars que de décrire les conditions de vie dans une ferme du Sud des Appa- laches, c'est que quelque chose ne tourne pas rond. Et quand on leur en apprend plus sur la pression atmosphérique dans le Mindanao Deep que sur la pollution atmosphérique au-dessus de Detroit, on leur ment."

Au début un peu dur à aborder tant l'auteur semble partir dans tous les sens et proposer une foule d'idées sans barrières, ce livre propose une vision très forte du design, extrêmement importante même après tant d'années.

Il remet au centre le rôle de généraliste et de multi-disciplinarité du designer ainsi que de l'impact de nos choix et décisions bien au delà des projets sur lesquels nous travaillons. J'y ai trouvé une sagesse et une énergie incroyable ainsi qu'un regard posé sur la société qui reste tristement d'actualité (l'auteur avait beaucoup d'espoirs qui ne se sont malheureusement toujours pas réalisé actuellement).

Je terminerai en laissant la parole à l'auteur :

"Le design, s'il veut assumer ses responsabilités écologiques et sociales, doit être révolutionnaire et radical (au sens strictement étymologique). Il doit revendiquer pour lui-même le « principe du moindre effort » de la nature: un minimum d'inventaire pour un maximum de catalogue, ou encore faire le plus avec le moins. Cela implique que nous consommions moins, que nous fassions durer les choses plus longtemps, que nous recyclions les matériaux et probablement que nous cessions de gâcher du papier pour imprimer des livres tels que celui-ci."
Profile Image for Jacklynn.
136 reviews4 followers
February 26, 2023
Some things I want to remember:

This book was first published in 1972 with the revised edition in 1984:
"Most of the examples of environment damage cited in the earlier edition of this book were only the first indications of present worldwide dangers. The toxic waste crisis in the United States alone assumed terrifying proportions. There are more than 50,000 dumps and in excess of 185,000 open pits, ponds, and lagoons at so-called industrial parks around the country, receiving an estimated eight-eight billion pounds of toxic wastes annually. Near Flint, Michigan, experts aren't even certain of what local sites contain. What little they do know gives abundant cause for alarm: traces of C-56, C-58, zinc, copper, cadmium, lead, chromium, and cyanide have leached into the surrounding waters and are slowly moving towards the Great Lakes."—p256

(emphasis mine) :(.

on design:
"Again: design is basic to all human activities. The planning and patterning of any act toward a desired, foreseeable end constitutes the design process. Any attempt to separate design, to make it a thing-by-itself, words counter to the inherent value of design as the primary, underlying matrix of life." —p322

This excerpt to start chapter 7 reminded me of agile (:eyeroll: I know):
When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it so complicated making it
that it is bound to be ugly.
But those that make it after you,
they don't have to worry about making it.
And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when the others
make it after you.
—Picasso (as quoted by Gertrude Stein)
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101 reviews18 followers
November 30, 2019
Попытка прочтения этой книги стала для меня настоящим испытанием. По неизвестной мне причине она часто попадается в качестве рекомендации для прочтения людям, интересующимся дизайном. И, да, действительно, здравое зерно в ней присутствует. Однако, большая её часть посвящена крайне графоманскому и многословному описанию прекраснодушного крестового похода против бедности, несправедливости, злых корпораций и прочих плохих вещей, подняв на знамя детей, страдающих от ДЦП и голодающих негров в Африке. Каждого, кто хоть краем уха слышал о том, что Папанек придерживается левых взглядов, и, мол, книга его тоже от этого стала левацкой, каждого я заклинаю ⏤ не недооценивайте этого, книга скорее не про дизайн, а про пресные левые идеи (которые, кстати, очень свежо выглядят и сейчас, спустя чуть не 40 лет с момента выхода книги).
В остальном же, единственное, что может оказаться полезным, это описание методов поиска решений, похожих на матрицу идей. Просто поверьте, лучше прочитать об этом в каком-нибудь другом месте, где вас не станут накачивать идеологией 90% времени, давая взамен немного полезной информации.
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