Designer, Food, Book

John Heskett's Toothpicks & Logos, Design in Everyday Life, is a beautiful book. The title, displayed in tasteful violet on a flat black cover, conjures up memories of Don Norman's classic Design of Everyday Things. The cover quotes Terence Conran saying "the best book I have read about the design process." Riffing through the pages, the paper feels good and the wide leading of the type gives a clean, engaging look. Photos of design icons such as the Aeron chair, the map of the Underground, and the FedEx logo adorn the inner pages. It's a pity that a delicious package holds so little substance on its pages. Inside is a dull, academic tract.

I highlight text as I read. In the opening pages, I marked this sentence:

"Design, stripped to its essence, can be defined as the human capacity to shape and make our environment in ways without precedent in nature, to serve our needs and give meaning to our lives."
I kept waiting to find out more. I never did. I didn't find any other memorable material. Yuck. Don't buy this one.

In contrast, Anthony Bourdai's
A Cook's Tour : Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
is a great read. This guy is a gonzo gourmet. Like Hunter Thompson, he's so out of control that it puts you on edge. He thinks nothing of eating a few birds' heads or fugu or some snakes, often crouching with the peasants in the marketplace to do so. All in all, a delightful book. Not recommended for the squeamish.

Posted by Jay Cross at June 26, 2003 09:22 AM | TrackBack

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