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Deconstructing Product Design: Exploring the Form, Function, Usability, Sustainability, and Commercial Success of 100 Amazing Products Hardcover – November 1, 2009


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Deconstructing Product Design: Exploring the Form, Function, Usability, Sustainability, and Commercial Success of 100 Amazing Products + Universal Methods of Design: 100 Ways to Research Complex Problems, Develop Innovative Ideas, and Design Effective Solutions
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592533450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592533459
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 8.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gerry Manacsa is a visual designer, artist, and engineer who helped to pioneer the web frontier in areas ranging from mixed-media personal storytelling to interactive learning methods for corporate and industrial environments. He lives in Houston, TX. http://www.manacsadesign.com

William Lidwell is the Director of Design at Stuff Creators Design in Houston, Texas. He is author of the best-selling design book, Universal Principles of Design, which has been translated into 12+ languages; Deconstructing Product Design, a social deconstruction of 100 classic products; and lecturer of two video series on design: "How Colors Affect You: What Science Reveals" available from The Great Courses, and "The Science of Logo Design" available from Lynda.com.


More About the Author

Will writes, speaks, and consults on matters of design and engineering psychology. He is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary design and the means by which organizations achieve and institutionalize innovation. He is a Stuff Creator in residence at Stuff Creators Design Studio and a Lecturer of Industrial Design at the University of Houston. Follow Will on Twitter at www.twitter.com/williamlidwell.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ArAllSummer07 on July 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book if you are trying match a name with a product. And appreciably, this book includes a wide variety of common products that would be seen in a variety of social strata, not just with the upper crust, the design elites or design snobs. Also, it gives for each product a brief history and bits of interesting background trivia. Everything is nice and easy to read.
Unfortunately, things to nitpick are glaring: A lot of the text is pretty subjective ("I...," "I...," "I...," all the way through). The "qualitative ratings" are supposed to be objective, but given that the reader can directly compare one product to the next, for example the Vespa to a Vodka Bottle, it is a guess that these are also subjective (The book says the Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic handgun is more usable than Bic pen or a Refrigerator. An industrially manufactured and battery-hungry Maglite is as equally sustainable as the Pot-in-Pot Cooler). "Deconstructing" in the title is a bit mis-leading... it would have been grand if it would have given the reader more than one image or picture per product (to help explain form or workings), information on manufacturing procedures, a price range, any variations, or dates of manufacture for the items that are no longer made. It is hard not to notice that some of the images are not even real pictures of the product, but somebody's obvious attempt at computer rendering-they look terribly fake. The many professional contributors to this book are knowledgeable and respected, so for a few instances, why did this book choose to print their input when their contribution didn't add anything useful, or worse, when they openly disclosed that they haven't owned, used, or even touched the products they are reviewing?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:49 Mins
This is a book that looks behind the scenes at how products are designed - specifically the thought process. Over 100 products are featured, and they all look really sleek. Commentary comes in the form of an analysis of the product itself, followed by thoughts from a class of prominent designers and thinkers. It can get very detailed, down to the aesthetic choices like putting ornamental rivets. It's also a wonderful showcase of relatively unknown products.

Of course, a nicely designed product might not translate to commercial success. All the examples featured are also ranked on attributes like aesthetic, function, usability, sustainability and the commercial success.

This is a nice classy book on product design. Highly recommended to product designers.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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By Nicholas on September 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The information on the products chosen are not detailed but the entries are interesting and a good basis to examine even more products.It helped to mold my thinking
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joan Gould on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a 19th birthday present to my grandson who is an Industrial Design major at Virginia Tech. His thank-you letter (actually written on a note card) said, "Thank you so much for the birthday book...it is incredible! I love it and it is a great book for developing a designer state of mind!"
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