By Design: Why There Are No Locks on the Bathroom Doors in the Hotel Louis XIV and Other Object Lessons by Ralph Caplan

Overview   Process  

Chapter “The Possibilities of Design” (pages 22–37 of the book in PDF, 637 KB)

Task: to translate and publish an interesting book on design.

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.

s pomoshchyu dizayna cover
The book in dust jacket

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

Release date: June 22 2014


art director
chief typesetter
production manager

Ralph Caplan is one of the prominent American authors writing in the field of design. He has published several books and numerous articles in specialized and popular periodicals. Caplan addresses his books and articles both to professionals and the general audience and works as a consultant to design companies as well as their clients. Caplan teaches design criticism at the School of Visual Arts in New York and is a Director Emeritus of the International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado.

328 pages
Press run: 3000
Dimensions: 144×216 mm (5,6″×8,5″)
ISBN 978-5-98062-085-1

s pomoshchyu dizayna title
Title opening
s pomoshchyu dizayna 22 23
Pages 22–23
s pomoshchyu dizayna 48 49
Pages 48–49
s pomoshchyu dizayna 212 213
Pages 212–213
s pomoshchyu dizayna 250 251
Pages 250–251

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