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Elements of Design: Rowena Reed Kostellow and the Structure of Visual Relationships Paperback – July 1, 2002
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"A loving tribute to an influential design instructor presented in lesson form. Part profile of a great instructor, part tutorial, this overview of Kostellow's work remains a source of inspiration and coaching for future industrial designers." -- Design Issues
"Any book about such an important figure deserves to be read again and again, especially its essays by such luminaries as Paola Antonelli and Judy Collins." -- Metropolis
"An invaluable resource to students, designers and instructors, the book reconstructs Kostellow's teaching methodology and exercises, which oncehelped shape American design and now resets the stage to do so again." --I.D. Magazine
"This book collects, for the first time, her exercises on abstract visual relationships. The work is of interest to anyone involved in any aspect of design as it explores the fundamentals of form, structure, and space." --DesignLink
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Top Customer Reviews
Recommended, but for designers rather than design critics.
The last time I saw Rowena in 1985 she told me she was working on a book. At the time, I was teaching three dimensional design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I too wanted to write a book about three-dimensional design and had given it a good start. Along the way I realized the impossibility of writing about dimensional design. It can't be done. It can be approached, as this present work does. But when you get right down to understanding the words on the page, they are as slippery in writing as they were with Rowena in person. I couldn't conceive how she could write it down. It is not surprising that she did not finish it. Her thoughts were too abstract to concretize them.
I recall one dialog with her:
"Not quite," she said turning my work. "Just look at it."
"I'm looking, Rowena, "I replied.
"Well look at it some more. You need to get the balance."
The book outlines a series of exercises that Rowena used to develop the ability to see dimensionally. As her student, I did all those exercises, and looking at them in the book and reading the comments of others (many of whom were my classmates) brings back many memories.
I recall how, four years after graduation, I was working in an ID office designing a typewriter, when suddenly it all became clear. I phoned her that evening. "Well, you were a smart kid, Winston. I figured you'd get it."
And then six more years from there, seeing the "convexity" problem that my parents had so proudly displayed in their living room, and realizing that I now *at that instant,* saw why she had been disappointed with it. My experiences are echoed by many of those quoted.Read more ›
A couple more of Rowena's former students (Lenny Bacich and Dan November) have recently passed away. It's sad to see them go and I will always be reminded of them, and their visions of Rowena's legacy, when I return to this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am a Interior Design professor at a state college, and I have used this book in my Studio 1 for sometime. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tilan Chan
Being a design engineer...I didn't feel this book was very applicable to the 30+ products I have brought to market. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Emily R.