Digital Design Theory: June 2016

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Digital Design Theory is now available 

My new book, Digital Design Theory: Essential Texts for the Graphic Designer, (Princeton Architectural Press 2016), bridges the gap between print design and interactive experience by examining the impact of computation upon the field of design. Keetra Dean Dixon has created a fantastic visual foreword for the piece. Digital Design Theory is a companion text to my earlier book, Graphic Design Theory.

As graphic design moves from the creation of closed, static objects to the development of open, interactive frameworks, designers seek to understand their own rapidly shifting profession. Digital Design Theory, a carefully curated introduction (1960-present), delves into ground-breaking primary texts that move the reader through this transformation, supplying the background necessary for an understanding of digital design vocabulary and thought. This collection begins in the 1960s, a period in which code began to pervade the design world. Essential works not only by designers, but also programmers, present the two threads of discourse—design and computation—that have rapidly merged into the increasingly interactive field of contemporary graphic design.

Topics range from graphic design’s ongoing fascination with mathematical, programmatic design methodologies, to early strivings for an authentic digital aesthetic, to the move from object-based design to experience-based design. Also explored are considerations of influential texts by programmers, texts which promote Open Source ideology, collaborative making and hackathon culture. Authors include: Ladislav Sutnar, Bruno Munari, Max Bill, Muriel Cooper, Wim Crouwel, Sol LeWitt, Karl Gerstner, Ivan E. Sutherland, Stewart Brand, Alan C. Kay, Sharon Poggenpohl, April Greiman, Rudy VanderLan, Hugh Dubberly, P. Scott Makela, Zuzana Licko, Paola Antonelli, Just van Rossum, John Maeda, Erik van Blokland, Brenda Laurel, Khoi Vinh, Luna Maurer, Casey Reas, Edo Paulus, Jonathan Puckey, Roel Wouters, Ben Fry, Keetra Dean Dixon, and Haakon Faste