Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Nature & Aesthetics of Design

In 1978 the book "The Nature & Aesthetics of Design" by David Pye was published. I think I read it for the first time around 1983. I remember that I was completely overwhelmed by the book. It presented an understanding of design that deeply resonated with my own ideas, but stated so much better, and in a way that I had not read anywhere. Today, I read the book again, probably more than 20 years since the last time. And again, I was charmed and intrigued by the book. So many things I have written about on design in the last 20 years can be found in this book!

Pye, who was a Professor of Furniture Design, was also an architect and an industrial designer, and a famous wood craftsman. He died in 1993.

In the book Pye discusses what design is all about, its relation to art and science, the nature of aesthetics, etc. It such a rich book. It is short. It is easy to read with a straightforward language. It feels authentic, grounded and real. It is written by someone who deeply understands his field.

Even though it was almost 30 years since the book was written, it is a source of wisdom that is still relevant, even in a field struggling with the design of digital artifacts and the digital material. Read it!

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