What to read: favorite books of the ODESD2 designers
On the eve of the VIII International Festival of the Book Arsenal, we decided to find out which books are on the shelves of ODESD2 designers. We asked them to recall the most favorite pieces, asked why they left a trace in the minds of the designers, and also asked how they chose literature.
«The ten books on architecture», Vitruvius
It was this book that opened my eyes to the foundations of the profession and taught me how to accept myself as an architect and industrial designer. I can say that it was with this book that the history of the design bureau ODESD2 began: the abbreviation of the six principles of architecture formed the basis for the name of the company.
The profession of the architect, especially in the Ukrainian realities, is changing significantly. The architect is perceived by the society either as a foreman, or as an exclusively creative person, whose task is to draw sketches and compose moodboards. In "The ten books on architecture" Vitruvius shows us a completely different architect: knowledge in the field of philosophy, economics, law, medicine and astronomy, drawing skills and the study of geometry are important for him. Each of us has heard about the Vitruvian man and the proportions - you can learn more about them from this book.
I prefer paper books: they give an incomparable experience of interaction with the written. The key factor in choosing a book for me is the author's personality, because a person is a measure of everything. I like to study biographies of famous people, pay attention to their life experience.
Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
I do not remember what exactly became the reason for buying the first book about the Boy who lived, but I do not exclude that the hype was the reason. "Rosman" books were on every counter of the book market and attracted the attention of young readers and their parents. And then the world for me "ceased to be the same": I waited for the translation of each of the next part, had time to read a quarter of the book on the way home and admired how wonderful Rowling had come up with everything. I remember that I had to wait a very long time for one of the parts, and my classmate and I decided to write the book ourselves to pass the waiting time. Unfortunately, the notepad with the entries is lost, but I remember that we described several characters that only a few years ago appeared in "Fantastic Beasts".
"Harry Potter" is an example of the author's colossal work with his own imagination, diverse sources, intertextuality. In my coordinate system, Rowling stands in line with Tolkien and Lucas - all three created original universes. "Harry Potter" is a story about friendship, courage, family, values, attitude to death and class inequality. Every reader will find something special in the book, and nobody will remain indifferent.
I prefer paper books. They give tactile sensations, are filled with a special smell. The only advantage of e-books, which I can allocate for myself - is the ability to read them in low light or lack of light. Choosing books, used to focus on lists like "100 books that everyone should read" - they helped me to discover most of the classical works. Now I just follow the novelties of publishers and choose the most interesting of them for myself.
“Manufacturing Process for Design Professionals”, Rob Thompson
I'm focused on my profession, so I love professional literature and books that are really useful. “Manufacturing Process for Design Professionals” - one of the first books I read in English. It gave me the knowledge that I missed during the studying and that I needed in my work.
Practically I do not read books in electronic form - I read more articles and professional resources. The key role in choosing a book for me are recommendations in social networks and on various resources for designers.
“Solaris”, Stanislaw Lem
If we talk about a favorite book, I would narrow the scope to fiction to make it easier. In this case, I want to highlight the "Solaris" by Stanislaw Lem.
I can not say that this is my favorite book. Rather, it is special. ny good book leaves a huge field for the reader's imagination, but in the case of this novel, Lem pushes the mind of the reader with things that can not be understood or imagined. This is a book that can not be completely screened in such a way as to convey the whole essence even casually.
I do not shiver before the paper books, sometimes I read from the small screen of the phone. It is not important for me. Of course, paper books have their own unique features - like vinyl records. The electronic book with a couple of gigabytes of literature does not look as impressive as the shelves of a personal library with paper copies.
Usually I do not have landmarks like author, book lists or reviews. It happens that the book flies into your life or touches you with some small trifle: you pay attention to one thing, but in the end you find something completely different in it. A particularly pleasant feeling arises when a particular book reaches you at the appropriate time in your life.
“Room”, Emma Donoghue
One of the books that made the greatest impression in recent years is Emma Donoghue's “Room”. The book is about a boy who, due to dramatic circumstances, was born and grows up in a tiny room, not knowing and not believing that there is another world beyond it. As a person, it was very interesting for me to read this fascinating, tragic and, at the same time, optimistic story, try to understand the psychology of people in situations that most of us can hardly imagine. As a designer working with abundance and a huge variety of objects, it was very interesting for me to imagine a world limited to a minimum, in which there are only a few items, and each of them exists in the singular.
I read without stopping as a child, my parents had thousands of books. This was a huge part of my life. Now I do not read much, for different reasons. Probably, because I have a lot of life experience, and, of course, a matter of time.
I like to read paper books. Choosing a book, I’m guided by intuition - it does not fail me.
"Dersu Uzala", Vladimir Arsenyev
My favorite book is “Dersu Uzala” by Vladimir Klavdievich Arsenyev, as well as other books about his journey. This book is about nature, about people, about the relationship of man with nature. It really left a trace in my heart: I became even more concerned about nature after reading. Therefore, I want people to "get infected" with this love.
I prefer only printed books: for me there is no "soul" in electronic. I choose literature intuitively, or I read books given by friends.
"Heaven Has No Favorites", Erich Maria Remarque
Now I can not distinguish the most beloved book, but for a long time the first in the rally was Erich Maria Remarque's “Heaven Has No Favorites”.
This is a perfect written picture. It has a taste of time and a sense of love, which Remarque described and conveyed in his manner. I consider him perfect from God: everyone who read his books feels it. "Heaven Has No Favorites" is the quintessence of his creativity. Nothing will introduce you to Europe in the middle of the 20th century like this book.
I love paper books: they have a variety of tactile characteristics, weight, color, a special smell. They do not tire your eyes like electronic devices. Choosing what to read, I focus on the recommendations of people whose goals are close to me - usually it is hit "in the top ten".
"Little Prince", Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
My favorite book is "The Little Prince". It's just an incredible story! I re-read it about once a year, and each time it reveals new meanings for me, answers the new questions. This book is about a bold, kind, inquisitive child within each of us.
I like to read both paper and electronic books: the first at home and in the park, electronic ones - on the road. Usually I make a list of interesting professional and business books. And when choosing fiction, I focus on the author and recommendations of friends.
"The Trilogy of Desire," Theodore Dreiser
Perhaps, one of the favorite books is "The Financier" (and the whole trilogy) by Theodore Dreiser. I was hooked on what features the author gave to the hero: the desire to live, daring energy and a firm belief in success. It really impresses. Many will say: what is there to admire, if the hero's goals are to make a fortune and have a beautiful lady next to him? But I'm an idealist, and I'm attracted not by the result, but by the mood with which the hero does something. I would advise reading this novel as another motivational point of support on the thorny path of success.
I judge the content of books, so I do not care in what format to read them. The main thing is to make it comfortable. Unfortunately, I do not read very often, although I like books. They find me: if I think about something important at some point, then a hint appears in the form of a book.
"1984", George Orwell
I read George Orwell's book "1984" more than 5 years ago, but it still does not "let go." The book impressed me with an idea and a deeply thought out world. There are a lot of cruel and monstrous scenes in it, which crash into memory for a long time. However, I advise you to read it: this book opens eyes to many things in the modern world.
I love paper books, but (so it happened) I read electronic books more often. I pay attention to the reviews and recommendations of friends, reviews in the Internet.
"Steppenwolf" and "The Glass Bead Game", Hermann Hesse
I can not imagine that a favorite book is one. But here are a couple - "Steppenwolf" and "The Glass Bead Game" by Hermann Hesse. Everything is great in these books: from the characters of the heroes to their surroundings. But the main thing is the atmosphere. It is so fantastic and so memorable that when I recall these books, I can still feel it. It seems to me that everyone understands them in his own way. That's why I would not advise reading "Steppenwolf" and "The Glass Bead Game" obligatorily.
In addition, prose is good, and all educated people come to it. But I would also advise not to miss poetry. This is something that can form our mind from many sides.
I do not care how to read: in electronic or paper form. Feel the pages, smell the paper - all this nonsense. Read as you like. The reference point for choosing a book for me is a simple feeling - it beckons or not. For example, I chose “Steppenwolf” because of the name.
«House of Cards», Michael Dobbs
I guess I do not have a favorite book. But I was hooked on the trilogy "House of Cards" - novels about Francis Urquhart by Michael Dobbs. It struck me with the reality of the political situation, the way it all happens. The book describes well how a person neglects humanity and risks everything when he feels victory. These things are understandable in the modern world, but the tough and dirty struggle for power was still a great shock for me. And also that insult is the most important stimulus of human actions.
I read both electronic and paper books. But I like paper more. Sometimes it seems that I read only a couple of pages in electronic format and do not perceive the information. I have to go back and re-read again. The reference point in choosing a book for me are reviews and, probably, the name of the author. One day, after reading a book by Jack London, from time to time I return to his work and put a check near the next book.
"Design for the Real World", Victor Papanek
I do not like the definition of "favorite book", because it is definitely not one. Those that seemed fascinating to me - "How to sell a shark for $12 million" by Donald Thompson, "The Poetics of Space" by Gaston Bachelard, “The minds of Billy Milligan” by Daniel Keyes, “Euclid's Window” by Leonard Mlodinow, books by Aldous Huxley. And if we are talking about literature for designers, I recommend "Design for the Real World" by Victor Papanek.
It came to me completely by accident, when I just started to study design and began to buy books in without stopping. I do not like "book-catalogs," where there are only pictures: they seem to me senseless; it's like a paper Pinterest. I'm waiting for some opening from the book. "Design for the Real World" has become such a book. In addition, it is also close to me ideologically.
I believe that this book gives the right guidelines. I put great doubt on the way we live. Including - capitalist values and the system of consumer society, ideals. Designers are part of this system. And I believe that they should understand their responsibility and think about what their work brings in the future.
Of course, I like paper books more. In addition, the process of reading becomes more enjoyable. I also noticed that I better remember information. Nevertheless, electronic wins: for example, if I’m in a trip and there is a weight limit. Sometimes I can read the electronic version and, in case the book turned out to be worthwhile, buy a paper version. I'm picky, there is only the most worthy on the shelf.
When choosing a new book, I take into account my knowledge gaps - so I stop on non-fiction. The ideology and references to other sources by the author are important to me. And, of course, there is a classic: names and authors who are known to everyone.
“The Time Machine”, Herbert Wells
My favorite book is “The Time Machine” by Herbert Wells. It is the progenitor of all sci-fi books that describes the time travel. Also, some symbols, which are a template ones in modern science fiction, where described here for the first time. After reading "The Time Machine", a lot of images and worlds remain in memory, which can be visualized indefinitely, so I suggest you read it.
Usually I choose paper books, based on the reviews and the name of the author.
Interviewed by Yaroslava Kobynets