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Monday, January 21, 2013

Make Design Matter


By Savitha Hira
Design, Book, Review, David Carlson, Make Design Matter, Little Red Book,

Publishers: BIS
Copyright©BIS Publishers & David Carlson

‘A Little Red Book about how to Make Design Matter’ by David Carlson is envisioned as a pocket guide that will help one sift out the chaff, and interpret and galvanize the essence of meaningful design. IAnD reviews the book...

Red is a catchy colour and the book can fit into the broad male hand or the eclectic female satchel very well. Succinct anecdotes form a philosophical narrative without actually sounding preachy or condescending, as the author David, takes one through the advocated seven steps, underlining and reiterating the need and relevance of simple meaningful design rather than its sometimes seemingly frivolous overtures (an exodus of design) or the hollowed aesthetic that beguiles in the name of design at the other end of the spectrum.

Design, Book, Review, David Carlson, Make Design Matter, Little Red Book,
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Given his background as a ‘design watcher and thinker’, David effectively ruffles one’s thinking cap just enough to make one take note and ask oneself the all-important introspective question, “What stokes my design beat?”

Design, Book, Review, David Carlson, Make Design Matter, Little Red Book,
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In this, if one truly wants to effect change, and rise above the rest, the best lies in the creative recesses of one’s own brain and at the end of one’s own arm! How much does one aspire to achieve and to what extent is one willing to push the envelope; then become parameters of effective design perpetuation and benchmarks of holistic relevance.

Design, Book, Review, David Carlson, Make Design Matter, Little Red Book,
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One very simply stated and positively engaging statement at the onset of the read is the mention of how the present generation is faced with a plethora of design – the subsistence of which needs to be questioned in terms of need and relevance. This effectively sets in motion the line of thought that David would like one to pursue while reading the Little Red Book.

Design, Book, Review, David Carlson, Make Design Matter, Little Red Book,
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I wouldn’t call it very engaging as I had to put it down and pick it up a few times, retracing my steps a wee bit to catch up on where I left off; but yes it could do well to help one pull up one’s socks every time  one needed a dose of self-appraisal.

Design, Book, Review, David Carlson, Make Design Matter, Little Red Book,
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While the black-font-on-red-page was disturbing and distracting, breaking into my introspective reverie, the high point of the book was the essence of each page highlighted in red!

Design, Book, Review, David Carlson, Make Design Matter, Little Red Book,
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Author: David Carlson
Format: Paperback with flaps
Dimensions: 18 x 12 cm
Pages: 164
Price: € 12,00

Founder of David Report, Designboost, Carlson Ahnell and David Design, David Carlson is an influential facilitator, cross-pollinator, and design thought-leader. Internationally sought after as a speaker, David tells stories in an informed and inspiring manner about his holistic approach at the intersection of design, culture, and business.

4 comments :

  1. Design theory is the vital prop to all design work and should not be consigned to an 'add on' as though it interferes with the professional activities of design companies, or is irrelevant to the commercially driven zeal of moneymaking machines. My recent book on interior design theory hopefully clarifies what the profession is, and what theoretical substance gives the discipline its structure and purpose. Carlson's book skims over such basics and flirts with social and political issues which are easy to band around, and when you analyse what he is saying it is full of platitudes that we are all familiar with the basic message of 'design is important'. His seven action points are everything that all first year students should be made aware of.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: How much of design theory is actually put into practice?

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  2. I meant to say that his seven action points are so basic and should be covered within a more demanding curriculum at 1st year level, and therefore the impact of his book is minimal.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: How much of design theory is actually put into practice?

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  3. How much of design theory is actually put into practice?
    I’d say very little, Today’s generation tends to conceive their ‘design vision’ concepts by emulating the last popular or successful design executed by others. When was the last time we applied the Golden Ratio or Fibonacci’s numbers to develop our design proportions?

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  4. Hi Rolo, the theoretical basis for designing and for creating concepts covers a wide range of subjects, one of them being geometry and proportion. Study programmes provide students with this very essential diet of theory, which provides them with a platform and armoury to do battle in the big wide world. No job or client is prescriptive; in other words, you never know what the future holds. Perhaps a project will come along that certain geometric theories will influence the design. So much of modern architecture and design is an affront to the eyes, simply because those designers have forgotten the sensitivities and delicacies that can be served up by such theories. I am also amused by your royal 'we' Rolo. For surely, all designers are individuals and have a singular way of working. The only binding factor being building codes and regulations.

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