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Design for Dasein: Understanding the Design of Experiences Paperback – January 1, 2015
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About the Author
Thomas Wendt is a New York City based design strategy and research consultant, educator, speaker, and writer.
Client work includes strategic consulting, internal training, and qualitative research projects for companies of all sizes. Thomas also writes and speaks on a variety of topics including philosophy and design, information architecture, lean process and theory, design research, and design thinking. Presentations have been delivered at domestic and international conferences, and his articles have been published in both academic journals and practitioner publications.
Website: srsg.co Twitter: @thomas_wendt
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Design for Dasein has a lot of things going for it. It serves as a great introduction to the philosophy of Heidegger and successfully makes his ideas relevant to the 20th century. It summarizes important developments in human-computer interaction and design theory from the last 40 years. It breaks down many industry tropes and attempts to show how effective design thinking, incorporating philosophical learnings along the way, can lead to a more effective design practice.
However, despite having the glimmer of some good ideas, those ideas are mostly left poorly articulated. Wendt is unable to concisely explain concepts, instead drawing out their explanations over the course of the book, leading to repetition and jumbled ideas. The book is without strong logical flow; instead of each section building effectively on the last, chapters merely rephrase ideas previously mentioned without adding significant new learnings. Ultimately, I was left not with the feeling of greater understanding, but with a vague sense of having gleaned something. Perhaps my biggest criticism of Wendt is his tendency to lose track of the point and and go on a diatribe about what he thinks is wrong with the industry. Wendt loses legitimacy in these moments, sounding more like a jaded critic than a learned academic.
At $23, Wendt's book is worth a read. Just have patience - he takes 184 pages to say what should take 60.