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Book Recommendation: Designing the 21st Century

Taschen 21st Century

Designing the 21st Century [2005] edited by Charlotte and Peter Fiell covers 56 international designers and design firms.  The book is heavy on housewares, furniture and consumer electronics but there are also some product, interior, architecture and vehicle designs.  There were at least two fabric pattern designers, garments and even pairs of eyeglasses.  The designs are not hypothetical; these are creations that have seen production and major corporate clients are listed for each of the different designers.  The various designers have a wide range of beliefs and philosophies about about design is, what it is not, what design should be and how it should relate to people.

The book is light on text, which is further broken down into three languages: English, German and French.  Packed cover to cover with photographs, the reader gets a sense about thinking like a designer, what it may be like to approach something as commonplace as a chair or a spoon and try to re-imagine that object.  The photography throughout the book is slick and executed on the highest level of skill.  I had many personal favorites such as the transforming furniture of Shin and Tomoko Azumi of London, England [below].  If you like design or want more exposure to design in action, definitely get this book.

Designing 21st Century Taschen 03

Designing 21st Century Taschen 04

Woven floor lights by Michael Sodeau of London, England

Designing 21st Century Taschen 02

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