Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change

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Academy Chicago, 1984 - Design - 394 pages
48 Reviews
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.

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This book, while engaging in several rants, still makes extremely valid points about the necessity for functionality (which includes aesthetics) in design. I had to read this for my architecture studio. I recommend it, for it is good to be familiar with the ideas even if you don't endorse them. 

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"Turning back to education, we find that part of the philosophical and moral bankruptcy of many design schools and universities likes in the ever-increasing trend to train students to become narrowly ... Read full review



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About the author (1984)

Although most of Dr. Papanek's work had been in product design, his background included architecture and anthropology. He taught or chaired departments at universities in Canada, the United States, Denmark, Sweden and England. In recognition of his work to create a closer understanding between the impoverished Third World and technologically advanced countries, he was nominated for the Alternative Nobel Prize. In 1981 he received the ICSID/Kyoto Honours Award for his development of a communications device for the governments of Tanzania and Nigeria. He was also senior design consultant to Volvo of Sweden, to the government of Papua New Guinea and to a medical lighting firm in Australia. From 1981 he was permanent J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Dr. Papanek died in 1998.

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