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?

‘The way you pull together craftsmanship and living is, I think, a very Ruskinian approach to the 21stC.’

Director Education
The Guild of St George

10 Good Books for Leaders for 2020

This lovely offering by designer Alan Moore tells us that we are creative beings, and urges us to create things that are better and more beautiful. Carefully illustrated and in a handy size, its part of the ‘DO’ series that I stumbled across earlier in the year (and now have many in the series). It reminded me that if you’re a leader you’re a builder. You’re building something. So build well and build beautifully. That’s the simple message of this excellent book.

Matthew Porter
The Leadership Blog

‘We met a few years ago when you gave a mind-opening talk on a Hyper Island course on “Digital strategy”. I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your book Do Design: Why Beauty Is Key to Everything. I often think about it and it’s become a source of reference and inspiration for me in my work as well as in everyday life.’

Daniel Mair
Board Member Design Sweden

‘I feel you are a collector of beautiful experiences, things, knowledge, then weave them into stories , so they are ordered, become connected, and telling. It’s a gift, a gift coming from your own way of living and navigating life’

Liu Qian

‘Dear Alan, I have been thinking about your valuable work in recent months. Beauty sustains us through adversity. Beauty, walking and stillness. And love.’

Louisa Thomsen-Brits

‘Was thinking about you and your book a lot this week as we ran a collaborative workshop with our 1st year Fashion students and Ecological Architecture students facilitated by our institute of green investment. Pro Haim Dotan led the students in poetry writing on the first evening. Remarkable results – beautiful’

Patrick Gottlier
Master of Apparel and Product Design Shanghai DeTao Masters Academy

‘Your book gave me both the inspiration and courage to write about beauty within the context of architecture.’

Alison Brooks
Alison Brooks Architectss

‘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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