Alice Rawsthorn

Design as an Attitude

Authoritative and engaging, Design as an Attitude explains how design is responding to an age of intense economic, political, and ecological instability. It shows how resourceful designers are using new digital tools to help to tackle the environmental and refugee crises, and to reinvent dysfunctional social services.

The book charts different aspects of contemporary design: from its role in interpreting new technologies and the emergence of a new wave of digitally empowered designers in Africa, to the craft revival, design’s gender politics, and its use in expressing our increasingly fluid personal identities. Design as an Attitude also tells the stories of the new design adventurers, such as Irma Boom, Loren Brichter, Studio Formafantasma, Jing He, Hella Jongerius, Jan Willem Petersen, and Arthur Zang, among others.

Design as an Attitude consists of an introduction followed by 12 chapters: What is Attitudinal Design?; Spot the Difference—Design and Art; The Craft Revival; The Descent of Objects; Back to the Future; Is Design Still a (cis) Man’s World?; Design’s Colour Problem; The Fun of the Fair; Choices, Choices, Choices; Out of Control; Design and Desire; and, When the Worst Comes to the Worst.

An award-winning design critic and author, Alice Rawsthorn (b.1958, Manchester, UK) wrote a weekly design column for The New York Times, which was syndicated worldwide for over a decade. Her previous books include the critically acclaimed, Hello World: Where Design Meets Life (2013), which explores design’s impact on our lives: past, present, and future. Based in London, Rawsthorn speaks on design at global events, including TED and the World Economic Forum in Davos. The book is part of the JRP|Ringier Documents series, co-published with Les presses du réel and dedicated to critical writing.

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