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The New Designer: Rejecting Myths, Embracing Change

The New Designer: Rejecting Myths, Embracing Change

Current price: $29.95
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2023
The MIT Press
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How to develop an ethical design practice and build a better world.

The choices made by designers have a significant effect on the world. Yet so much of the discourse on design focuses on aesthetics rather than ethics. In The New Designer, acclaimed author Manuel Lima aims to change this by challenging common myths and preconceptions about what comprises good design. He argues that designers must take responsibility for the personal, societal, cultural, and environmental impact of their work, rather than simply following a standard template.

As he covers fields ranging from graphic design to industrial design to user-experience design, Lima identifies the major steps that designers must take to be a force for good in the world. Rather than sticking to outmoded ideas about perfectionism and individual genius, designers must work together to tackle some of the most challenging questions of the twenty-first century. How do you make room for humanity, with all its wondrous variations, in a society increasingly driven by metrics, algorithms, and profit? How can ecologically responsible designers consider a product’s entire life cycle and look well into the future? And how can designers better respond to a community’s local needs while taking advantage of global networks?

Blending approaches derived from ethics, psychology, economics, and ecology, The New Designer is a vital, field-changing treatise that will appeal to any reader who seeks to understand design’s massive influence on the contemporary world.

About the Author

Manuel Lima is an internationally renowned designer and author of three bestsellers: The Book of Circles, The Book of Trees, and Visual Complexity. Named “one of the 50 most creative and influential minds” by Creativity magazine, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a regular lecturer at conferences around the world.

Praise for The New Designer: Rejecting Myths, Embracing Change

Included in Fast Company's "6 essential design books to read this summer" list

“Designer and author Manuel Lima writes in his important new book that the old ways of practicing design no longer work and that it’s time to rethink design. Organized around myths in the design industry (from the obvious “design is perfection” to the provocative “design is for humans”), Lima proposes that the designer of the future is focused equally on the product and the system, the user and the environment, the aesthetics, and the ethics. Lima’s prose is friendly and accessible and each chapter ends with actionable advice for designers to immediately apply to their work.”
– Fast Company

“Manuel dives deep into how our choices as designers should focus more on ethics rather than just aesthetics. A must-read for any designer who wants to learn how to challenge common myths about what truly comprises design and, both individually and collectively, take responsibility for the personal, societal, cultural and environmental impact of the work current and future designers produce.”
The Association of Registered Graphic Designers