Books on Cross-disciplinary Design

The Smart List is a monthly list of multi-media recommendations on everything design, curated by Interwoven Design. As a group of aesthetically obsessed designers, there are a lot of beautiful products and objects we love and enjoy. These products make our daily lives special and inviting and we want to share them with you. Pick up these Books on Cross-Disciplinary Design in this issue for the design savvy people on your list!

Books on Cross-disciplinary Design

1. The Senses: Design Beyond Vision

Edited by Ellen Lupton and curated by Andrea Lipps

Dive into the awesome world of inclusive and multisensory design with “The Senses: Design Beyond Vision.” This book is like your backstage pass to a cool exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum that flips the script on the idea that design is just about what you see. Get ready to explore how space, materials, sound, and light mess with your mind and body, all while getting insights from hip designers like Petra Blaisse, Bruce Mau, and Malin+Goetz. And guess what? This isn’t just about solving problems – it’s about making life better for everyone, especially those with sensory disabilities.

The book isn’t your typical read—it’s got essays on all kinds of stuff like designing for the table, cool tactile graphics, making sound tactile, and even visualizing the senses. It’s like a shout-out, telling you to jump on the multisensory design train. Students and pros in things like products, interiors, graphics, interaction, sound, animation, and data visualization need to check it out. But hey, even if you’re just curious about design, “The Senses” takes you on a wild ride of thought-provoking exploration. And they’ve got a dream team behind it—Christopher Brosius, Hansel Bauman, Karen Kraskow, Binglei Yan, and Simon Kinnear all pitched in, with a killer design by David Genco and Ellen Lupton. It’s like the Avengers of the design world got together to drop some knowledge!

via Cooper Hewitt

2. Ways of Being

by James Bridle

In “Ways of Being,” James Bridle, the artist, tech whiz, and deep thinker, dives into a cool exploration of intelligence in all sorts of areas—plants, animals, humans, and even artificial stuff. This mind-bending work shakes up the usual ideas about intelligence, asking if it’s just a human thing or if it’s hanging out with creatures made of flesh, wood, stone, and silicon. Bridle gets real about the progress in artificial intelligence, making it sound like this mysterious force that’s messing with our sense of being at the center of the universe.

Bridle doesn’t stick to one subject—he throws in biology, physics, computers, books, art, and deep thoughts into the mix. “Ways of Being” dives deep into all the different ways we know stuff, do stuff, and just exist in this world. As we try to wrap our heads around artificial intelligence, Bridle pushes us to rethink what we know about intelligence itself. It’s like a wake-up call to think about who we are, what our gadgets are doing, and how we fit into the big picture of nature. And hey, it’s not just for the science nerds—this exploration totally connects with the world of cross-disciplinary design, telling designers to think big about how their creations impact all kinds of intelligence and the crazy interconnected world we live in.

via Barnes & Noble

3. Videogame Atlas

by You + Pea Architecture and Game Design

In the vast digital world, the only limits are the ones we cook up in our minds. Stuff like games and shows throw open doors to these wild and captivating worlds, often inspired by architectural research. Check out game design in hits like Assassin’s Creed, where they smoothly mix architectural stuff with the gameplay. The cool team You+Pea, led by Sandra Youkhana and Luke Caspar Pearson, dives into this whole blend of architecture and gaming. They run You+Pea, an architectural design studio that’s been showing off their game-based creations in fancy galleries. Plus, they just dropped a book called “Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds.”

This awesome book, a brainchild of You+Pea’s research, breaks down twelve rad games—from big-budget ones to indie gems—using panoramic maps, diagrams, and over 400 illustrations. “Videogame Atlas” makes the whole link between architecture and games easy to get, even if you’re not a gaming whiz. The book digs into games where the city takes the spotlight, like Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Cities: Skylines, and Dwarf Fortress, as well as those with crazy fantasy vibes like Final Fantasy VII + Remake, Death Stranding, and Dark Souls. The authors want us to see video game worlds like we look at real cities, recognizing the deep meaning they hold for gamers. They’re all about how games not only get ideas from real spots but also twist them in new ways, creating cool perspectives in gamer communities. With games leaving their mark on how architects learn and design, the line between architecture and gaming is getting blurry. And hey, The Bartlett just launched a fresh master’s program called “Cinematic and Videogame Architecture,” led by Lukas Caspar Pearson. It’s like the next level of blending these two worlds!

via Parametric Architecture

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