Do Design. Why beauty is key to everything

Published by Do Books in 2016 – an international bestseller.

So much passes us by, unnoticed. We multi-task, switch between screens, work faster. When was the last time you paused to consider a beautifully made object or stunning natural landscape? Yet this is when our spirits lift, our soul is restored.

Do Design invites us to rethink not only what we produce – whether it’s a website, a handmade chair, or a business – but how and why. With examples from Apple, Yeo Valley and Blitz Motorcycles, we are encouraged to ask: Is it useful and considered. Is it a thing of beauty?

‘Alan Moore’s book on beauty links the history of that which has been simply made, to that which has been extraordinarily made. The difference is that which is engineered, to what is crafted, to what is designed.’

John Maeda
Automattic – previously President Rhode Island School of Design, Partner at KCPB.

‘I found your book so, unbelievably inspiring. The concept of beauty and truth is something that has really altered the way I am approaching creative thinking, and upon finishing the book I decided I would read it again and again at the outset of future design projects to help me to get in the right frame of mind.’

Jim Davis
Personal correspondence

‘Your book gave me real clarity and a forceful nudge to just make things and see where it takes me. What a book!’

Jono Smart
Contemporary potter

‘I read your book Do Design on why beauty is key to everything. What you described in the book is not just an approach to design, it’s a way of life.’

Karen Hodkinson
ID magazine

No Straight Lines

Published in 2011 by Bloodstone

Living at the adaptive edge of our linear economy, faced with multiple challenges that are social, political, economic and organisational. No Straight Lines asks the question – how can we design and then create a restorative economy that works in a world where it’s not business as usual, in a world that is nonlinear?

For me, as a designer, helping create a restorative economy is probably the best design challenge going.

‘In the moments between watching and re-watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony in the past 48 hours, I’ve been reading No Straight Lines: Making Sense of Our Non-Linear World by Alan Moore. Alan presents the current array of economic and social problems as a kind of design challenge, where what is being redesigned is the organisation of society as a whole. Insanely ambitious, but I rather like that. In sum: ‘Imagine the impossible, then create it.’ Our hero Danny Boyle would agree.’

Diane Coyle
OBE; Vice Chairman BBC Trust; Economist; author of The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters, The Soulful Science.

‘No Straight Lines is a passionate and intelligent book that explores the insanity of humankinds desire to organise itself along engineered technical, mechanistic lines when we are part of the natural world which is fluid, adaptive and asymmetrical. You find no straight lines in nature. Anyone who is interested in the future, interested in how our aspirations to work in a way that satisfies our creative intent and frankly, anyone who has an interest in the true nature of happiness – should read this important book. This is a great achievement and I commend this book to you.’

Tim Smit
Founder of The Eden Project Cornwall

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