By Design: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons by Ralph Caplan, Second Edition
The book is a network of engrossing stories that illuminate the process of design and the nature of design process. The author speaks about industrial design, interior design, fashion design, graphic design and the design of business and social situations.
The book is intended for design students, professionals or anyone else who could benefit from a fuller appreciation of the design process.
This is a book about design—for people who couldn’t care less: the design process has more to do with your life than you think. It is also a book for people who care too much—who think design is everything: the truth is, designers won’t save the world; but the design process can help make it worth saving. Isn’t that enough?
A writer I know decided early in his career that “a subject important enough to warrant a large book should be introduced by a small one.” The notion pleased him mightily and he has devoted himself ever since to producing small books on important subjects. The large books he shrewdly left to others.
This too is a small book on a subject that deserves a large, comprehensive one. It is not a history of design, although there is some history in it; it is not a design critique, although it tries to explore the subjects critically; it is not a defense of professional designers, although it is sympathetic to their frustrations; and it is not a polemic, although it deplores the volume of shoddy and mindless work.
The point of the book is that design, which is now directed largely to superficial ends, is desperately needed in, and applicable to, our most significant human activities—of which it rightly is one. It took me a long time to make the connection but I have been interested in that aspect of the design process every since I heard the following story.
From the introduction by the author
- 328 pages
- Dimensions: 144×215 mm (5,7″×8,5″)
- Press run: 3000