Design for the real world

Victor Papanek

I must agree that the designer bears a responsibility for the way the products he designs are received in the marketplace. But this view is still too narrow and parochial. The designer’s responsibility must go far beyond these considerations. His social and moral judgment must be brought into play long before he begins to design, since he has to make a judgment, an a priori judgment at that, as to whether the products he is asked to design or redesign merit his attention at all. In other words, will his design be on the side of the social good or not. (Victor Papanek)


Design for the Real World has been translated into over twenty languages since it first appeared in 1971; it has become the world’s most widely read book on design and is an essential text in many design and architectural schools.


Victor Papanek’s lively and instructive guide shows how design can reduce pollution, overcrowding, starvation, obsolescence, and other modern ills. He leads us away from “fetish objects for a wasteful society” towards a new age of morally and environmentally responsible design.


A classic and still highly relevant book five decades after its first appearance.


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