In 2007 I posted a post with the same title as this one. I read this old post today and saw that it is time to update the list. This is how I introduced the list in 2007:
"I had a meeting today with a PhD student from another department and was asked what to read if you want to get into the more theoretical and philosophical aspects of design and that had influenced my work. It was a good exercise and I came at least up with a few books, even though I am sure I have forgotten some that might be even more influential on my thinking."
So, I have kept the old list and added some book that I had forgotten or that have been published since then. Even though I have only picked book that have had serious influence, the list keeps growing. I do not always have the full references but instead some have links.
The list is in no particular order, so here we go:
Lundeqvist, Jerker. (1982?) "Norm och modell" (Norm and Model). in Swedish
This was Jerker's PhD thesis and it really opened the door for me to design theory!
Simon, Herbert. "The Science of the Artificial"
Simon's book is a must in the area.
Schön, Donald. "Educating the Reflective Practitioner"
Maybe the most influential book for me.
Lawson, Bryan. "How Designers Think"
Lawson's book really helped me to form my own understanding of design.
Dunne, Joseph "Back to the Rough Ground"
Probably the best book ever on practical knowledge and judgment.
Krippendorff, Klaus. "The Semantic Turn -- a new foundation for design"
The best contemporary book on design theory.
Lawson, Brian. & Dorst, Kees. "Design Expertise"
A really good introduction to what it means to be good at design.
Pye, David. "The Nature and Aesthetics of Design"
This book was first published in 1969 and is a wonderful book on the relation between craft and design, functionality and aesthetics.
Alexander, Christoffer. "The Timeless Way of Building"
Even though Alexander is more famous for his pattern language work, this is the book that is fundamental.
Borgmann, Albert. "Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry"
Of all the readings in philosophy of technology, this is the one that has influenced me the most. A wonderful critique of contemporary design and technology.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience"
Still one of the best and maybe only books in psychology that has direct influence on how to think about design.
Latour, Bruno. "Pandoras Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies"
A book so full of great ideas that it is almost too much. Latour makes the case for reality in a way that makes sense to design theory, it is all about the particular, about here and now.
Marcuse, Herbert. "One-Dimensional Man"
All about the consequences of getting stuck in our understanding of the world, and why we have to critically break out of dominating thought figures.
and finally some self-promotion...
Nelson, Harold & Stolterman, Erik. "The Design Way - Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World"
Well, our book is out of print, but we are working on a 2nd edition that will be published by MIT Press in 2011 (if Harold and I can finish our writing).
Well, I will maybe update and add more later.....