Writing is deeply connected to design. Every day, architects and interior designers provide specs to builders, students write essays, designers read professional magazines, shoppers flick through catalogues, visitors read museum labels and academics scrutinize historical documents. In this rigorous book, edited by Grace Lees-Maffei, the relationship between design and writing is examined on a number of different levels by academics and practitioners from around the world. In Writing Design: Words and Objects, the discourse is broken into four sections. The first explores how writing about design has tried to improve or reform design. The second explores how writing is used to explain design after the fact. The third breaks the design/writing dichotomy, showing how writing is used to create design, while the fourth explores examples of how design and designers have rejected writing and text. This book is as useful for designers thinking about the relationship between writing and design in their own practice as it is for design theorists and critics, or design teachers and lecturers conducting research or planning a course.
Edited by G. Lees-Maffei (Berg publishers, 2011) 288 pp $39.99
Published online: 1 Sep 2012
Words: Penny Craswell
Artichoke, September 2012