- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 2 Revised edition (August 30, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0897331532
- ISBN-13: 978-0897331531
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change 2 Revised Edition
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About the Author
Although most of Dr. Papanek's work had been in product design, his background included architecture and anthropology. He taught or chaired departments at universities in Canada, the United States, Denmark, Sweden and England. In recognition of his work to create a closer understanding between the impoverished Third World and technologically advanced countries, he was nominated for the Alternative Nobel Prize. In 1981 he received the ICSID/Kyoto Honours Award for his development of a communications device for the governments of Tanzania and Nigeria. He was also senior design consultant to Volvo of Sweden, to the government of Papua New Guinea and to a medical lighting firm in Australia. From 1981 he was permanent J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Dr. Papanek died in 1998.
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Top Customer Reviews
Having read the more recent books on ecological design by Sim Van Der Ryn and William McDonough, I was surprised to see that neither mentioned Papanek, who prefigured many of the ideas they present in their current books. Papanek long ago advocated the lease/use principle, which makes much more sense in a rapidly changing technological world than does the buy/own principle that continues to dominate our social thinking. Papanek notes the many cultural and psychological blocks we have created for ourselves when it comes to ecological design, but also illustrates how we can overcome these blocks with methods such as bisociation, first proposed by Arthur Koestler. But, what really makes this book stand out are the great number of illustrations that Papanek uses to demonstrate his ideas. This is one of the most practical books written on environmental design.
While Papanek was an industrial designer, his ideas are equally germaine to the field of architecture and biology. He advocated a multi-disciplinary approach, feeling that our universities had become too compartimentalized and were stifling creativity, which needs cross-pollination in order to thrive. The book is as inpiring as his lectures. Papanek challenges the reader to explore new avenues, not continue to follow the status quo, which only results in creative dead-ends.