HOW WE SHAPE TECHNOLOGY — AND HOW TECHNOLOGY SHAPES US

We make the world we inhabit. Artful Design is a manifesto of how we shape technology, and a meditation on how technology shapes us in turn. Investigating design through the vehicle of music and technology, the book begins with a simple question: What is design? In pursuit of that answer, Artful Design takes the reader on a journey of discovery — of the nature, meaning, and purpose of design in this age of technology, and the many related questions that arise. Why should we design beauty into useful things? What does it mean to design well? To what extent can (and should) the things we engineer embody our values as human beings? Why does design... matter? This book is for anyone who has ever been curious (excited or concerned) about technology — both what it does for us, and what it does to us.

A DESIGN MANIFESTO — IN COMIC FORM

Artful Design — a 488-page full-color book — is meticulously designed in the medium of a photo comic. It is uncompromising (it requires some thinking) yet accessible (due to its unconventional visual format). A book about the soul of design, it is itself an artifact of design.

The world of Artful Design is revealed both conceptually and concretely through the design of musical instruments, mobile apps like Ocarina, games, toys, and social experiences. It contains over 100 principles of artful design, and "design etudes" (e.g., expressive exercises) for the reader to explore and enact in everyday life. Across its eight chapters, the book builds an overarching practical philosophy of artful design.

Yup. This is a supremely nerdy book.

FROM STANFORD UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR GE WANG

A Stanford Music professor with a Ph.D. in Computer Science, a designer/engineer/artist, and an accidental entrepreneur (he co-founded Smule), Ge doesn't fit any single profile, a hybrid working at the intersections of disciplines. He designs programming languages for music, instruments and apps (like the award-winning Ocarina for iPhone). He directs the Stanford Laptop Orchestra. He loves food. He plays Starcraft (but is still a noob after 20 years). He shoots a lot of photographs. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and has spent three years writing this book. (During this time, he has become good friends with the excellent people of Stanford University Press.) | learn more about the author — and check out Ge's critical thinking course at Stanford (based on Artful Design): "Design that Understands Us".

WHAT WE MAKE, MAKES US.

The things we design with technology, designs us. We cannot unmake technology. But we can shape it more artfully. No matter your walk of life or what you think about technology or design, this book invites you to venture into a realm where the technological meets the intangible. Welcome to the realm of...


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Happy explorations — and see you in the book.