The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World
by Harold G. Nelson, Erik Stolterman
The book turns out to be one of the best books on design I’ve ever read.
It’s not a “designer” book – the authors don’t teach you how to design. Instead, the authors discuss the concept of design in its context.
The opening of Prelude better shows what it’s about than the official book description:
Genesis is ongoing. As human beings, we continuously create things that help reshape the reality and essence of the world as we know it. When we create new thing — technologies, organizations, processes, evironments, ways of thinking, or systems — we engage in design. To come up with an idea of what we think would be an ideal addition to the world, and to give real existence — form, structure, and shape — to that idea, is at the core of design as a human acitivity. This book is about that activity.
What is presented in this book is a composition of what we believe a broad and deep understanding of design — as a tradition of inquiry and action — should include. …It is an effort to build a deeper understanding of design, based on ideas we believe must be present in the development and implementation of a design culture — the necessary ingredients fro the release of design’s full potential and promise for generative human agency.
So if you’d only read one book about design, I’d recommend this book without hesitation.